Prepare For Tsunamis This Month

The article below was submitted by Carlene MacPherson on behalf of the Kailua Disaster Preparedness Subcommittee, which was formed last spring following Kailua residents’ confusion about where to go and what to do when the Japan-generated tsunami hit the community. As a result, Kailua became the first community in the state to be Tsunami/Storm Ready certified by NOAA.

Tsunamis can occur at any time. The Kailua Disaster Preparedness Subcommittee would like to share the following information with all Windward residents.

Before it happens, check to see if your home, school, and place of worship are located within a tsunami evacuation zone. Look at the new tsunami evacuation maps at and, or go to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center’s (PTWC) website at

A tsunami warning is issued when the PTWC has confirmed that a tsunami has been generated. The warning sirens will sound three hours, two hours, one hour, and then 30 minutes prior to the arrival of the first wave.

When you first hear the sirens, turn on your radio or TV. Evacuation instructions will be issued over the Emergency Alert System (EAS) via local radio and TV stations. Foreign language broadcasts of emergency information may be found on KNDI 1270AM, KZOO 1210AM (Japanese), and KREA 1540AM (Korean). You also can receive free information via Nixle ( on your cell phone and/or computer.

Important reminders:

* Shelters are NOT opened for tsunami evacuation. Do not go to the shelters listed in your phone book.

* If you must evacuate, head for higher ground or report to a refuge center, such as Kailua District Park at 21 S. Kainalu Drive or Kaneohe District Park at 45-660 Keaahala Road. A list of Oahu’s other designated refuge centers can be found at

* If you are not in an evacuation zone, stay home and please stay off the roadways.

* Limit phone use to emergencies only; text or email instead.

* During a tsunami evacuation, The Bus and Handivan will shuttle people from the evacuation zone to a refuge center for free.

* Do not go to Castle Medical Center unless you have a medical emergency.

Disaster preparedness is an individual responsibility, and it’s never too late to start to prepare.

If you need further information, please contact us at