County of Marin - News Releases - Tsunami Preparedness Week

For Immediate Release
March 27, 2017

Key to Tsunami Preparation: Have a Plan

Assess if you, your family and your neighbors are ready for evacuation

San Rafael, CA – A significant portion of Marin County’s population lives close to the ocean or the bay partly because of those majestic views and cool breezes. But is that significant portion familiar with what to do in the event of a tsunami?

An aerial photo of homes along Stinson Beach very close to the water.Coastal and bayside residents should devise a household tsunami evacuation plan. You won't have much warning if one strikes.

The Marin County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services raises awareness all year long about tsunamis but especially during Tsunami Preparedness Week, which is March 27-31 this year. The Marin County Board of Supervisors officially recognized the occasion during its March 21 meeting.

“Whether you live, work, or travel along the coast, you should know how to protect yourself in case of a tsunami,” Hanks said. “Just as with earthquake preparedness, we have to be ready all the time.”

Earthquakes on the Pacific Ocean’s “Ring of Fire,” especially in Alaska, give Marin little warning of the overwhelming waves that could travel up to 500 mph. A massive quake in the central Aleutian Islands of Alaska could send 30-foot waves to the Marin coast within about five hours. Japan is still recovering from a 2011 disaster that left about 22,000 dead, hundreds of thousands of residents homeless, and cost about $300 billion.

Hanks recommends that individuals and larger groups take time to read about tsunamis, watch videos and talk about evacuation plans. The California Department of Conservation provides an online map for anyone to check for tsunami inundation zones.

OES recommends the following steps:


Ursula Hanks
Office of Emergency Services

Emergency Operations Facility
1600 Los Gamos Drive
Suite 200
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-6584
Email: Ursula Hanks
OES website