Tsunami Exercises

General Information

Tsunami exercises and drills are excellent ways in which to increase tsunami preparedness and awareness of coastal communities.  Regular exercises are essential to maintain operational readiness of response agencies for the real event, and especially important because of the infrequent occurrence of tsunamis.  Exercises evaluate one's ability to respond to a local, regional, or ocean wide tsunamis.  Exercises test communications, review agency standard operating procedures, and promote emergency preparedness.

At the local level, stakeholder agencies, community organizations, and citizens groups can work together to organize and conduct drills for the evacuation of low-lying areas after a tsunami warning is issued by local authorities.   Tsunami drills by schools are effective ways to educate school children on tsunamis so that they know a tsunami's natural warning signs, and know what to do when a tsunami warning occurs.  When media are invited to cover and participate in drills, tsunami awareness of communities is increased as a whole.

There are many types of exercise and drills.  They can exercise parts of the response, or simulate an entire end-to-end warning and evacuation scenario.  Similarly, exercises can be conducted only within department or organizations, or involve entire communities, states, provinces, a country, or internationally, many countries comprising an entire ocean basin.   Finally, exercises can be conducted as simply orientation workshops that inform on what to expect, as slow discussion simulations between responders, or as fullly involved, real-time exercises.

Videos of international, national and community exercises and drills are available in our media section, click here.



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Featured Resources

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Regional Disaster Information Center (Latin America & the Caribbean)

A database of Spanish language materials focused on tsunami preparedness.
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Post-Tsunami Survey:
El Salvador Summary Video

Learn the basics of a post-tsunami survey.

TsunamiTeacher USA
Tsunami Basics

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(w/closed captioning)

Learn the basics of tsunamis. Available in English and Samoan.

Tsunamis on the Move

Tsunami Awareness Poster

Awareness poster available in English, Chinese, French, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Singalese.


Global Hazard Maps

Posters of Tsunami Sources, Significant Earthquakes and Significant Volcanic Eruptions. Also Tsunami Sources Icosohedron Globe.

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Tsunami, The Great Waves

Available in English, Spanish, French and Chinese.


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Tsunami Glossary

Available in English, Arabic, Spanish, French and Bahasa. 



Where the First Wave Arrives in Minutes

Available in English, Bahasa, Spanish and French.


DVD copies for PC and Macintosh computers are available free of charge from the ITIC, Hawaii (itic.tsunami@noaa.gov).

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