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A tsunami is a series of waves that can be dangerous and destructive. They can be caused by underwater disturbances or earthquakes. When you hear a tsunami warning, move at once to higher ground and stay there until local authorities say it is safe to return home.
What can I do today?
Be familiar with the tsunami warning signs. A rapid rise or fall in coastal waters and a large earthquake are both signs to an approaching tsunami.
Know the location of your local evacuation site. Most coastal communities have a designated area on high ground that the community will meet, ie: a school.
Know your community's warning siren or method of letting people know a tsunami is coming.
DO NOT go to the water to watch the tsunami come in!
No matter where you are, know how to protect yourself and your family during an earthquake. Practice taking cover as if there were an earthquake and learn the safest places in your home and work. Practice getting out of your home and check to see if the planned exits are clear and if they can become blocked in an earthquake. Practice turning off your electricity and water. Know how to turn off the gas, but do not practice this step. In the event of an earthquake, once you turn off your gas, only your utility company should turn it back on for safety reasons.
Stocking up now on emergency supplies can add to your safety and comfort during and after an earthquake. Store enough supplies for at least 72 hours.
When preparing for an earthquake, plan on having enough supplies to get you and your family through at least the first 72hours. After a major earthquake, there's a good chance that traditional emergency response teams will be too busy to take care of you and your family. You need to prepare your home and neighborhood.
Children need to be prepared for an earthquake as much as adults, if not more.
For infants and toddlers, special emphasis should be placed on making their environment as safe as possible.
By age three or so, children can understand what an earthquake is and how to get ready for one. Take the time to explain what causes earthquakes in terms they'll understand. Include your children in family discussions and planning for earthquake safety. Conduct drills and review safety procedures every six
You shouldn't depend on your tenants to know what to do in an emergency. It will be up to you to get them and your building ready for an earthquake.
More importantly, you will want to prepare people to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours after an earthquake.
After an earthquake or other disaster, emergency response agencies could be overburdened and might not be able to get to your neighborhood immediately. You and your neighbors or coworkers may need to take the initial emergency response actions and take care of others for at least 72 hours. Past earthquakes have thrust many untrained people into positions of providing first aid and rescuing people. You need to be prepared!
If a response team has not been organized in your neighborhood or workplace, form one now. Joining and forming a community response team can greatly improve your chances of surviving an earthquake and can improve the self-sufficiency of your neighborhood.
Contact your local police and fire departments, city/county Office of Emergency Services, American Red Cross chapter or community college to arrange for speakers and training workshops. Response teams should arrange to participate in annual earthquake exercises sponsored by local government and businesses.
As part of the community response team planning process, teams should conduct an inventory of the skills and resources available at home, work and community. You should have this information on hand before an earthquake for efficient, effective responses. Identify people who:
In addition to the water, food and other supplies that everyone needs to
stock, members of the community response team should store tools. Items such
as the following should be stored in a central and easily accessible
When preparing your home for an earthquake, don't forget to include your pets on the list. They will depend on you even more after an earthquake to take care of them and their needs.
For more information regarding People for Emergency Preparedness Planning for Animals (P.E.P.P.A), contact: Lorelei Lamere, D.V.M. * P.O.Box 772751 * Eagle River, AK 99577
Secure the contents of your home or office to reduce hazards. You should secure anything heavy enough to hurt you if it falls. Here are some steps you can take to secure your possessions.
If you strap your water heater and fit it with a flexible gas supply line, you will reduce the risk of a fire or explosion from a gas leak after an earthquake. If your water heater does not have a flexible gas supply line, contact a licensed plumber to install one.
These instructions are for installing a water heater restraint for a water heater on a
straight wall using the conduit method:
This is only one method of securing your hot water heater. There are now commercial
pre-engineered products available at your local building product supply store the
accomplish the same task.
NOTE: The 1/4" x 1" bolts referred to in the above are known as 1/4" x
1" round head machine screws with a nut.
Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management
Mr. Michael "Mike" Sutton was appointed as acting director of the Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHS&EM) within the Alaska Department of Military and Veterans Affairs on December 11, 2017. He was appointed Deputy Director on June 5, 2015.
Mr. Sutton started his career with the State of Alaska in November of 2005. Mike was the Exercise Program manager in the DHS&EM Preparedness Branch where he planned, coordinated, executed and evaluated the largest homeland security exercise in Alaska's history - Alaska Shield 07.
Following a highly successful exercise and after more than 28 years of public service, Mr. Sutton ventured into the private sector and started his own business. As president of Alaska's leading veteran-owned emergency management consulting firm, he won contracts for developing an Emergency Operations Plan for the National Science Foundation's Antarctic outpost at McMurdo Station, writing the Alaska Catastrophic Response Plan for FEMA Region X, creating the first Regional Tribal Response Plan for FEMA, and updating emergency operations plans for dozens of Alaska's borough's and communities.
Mr. Sutton retired from the U.S. Air Force in 2005 after 25 years of service with over 2,400 hours in the F-4E and RC-135 aircraft.
Mr. Sutton holds a Bachelors of Business Administration Degree from Texas A&M University graduating in 1978, and completed post-graduate work in Leadership, Management, and Cultural Diversity. Mr. Sutton is a Distinguished Graduate of Squadron Officer's School, completed Air Command and Staff College, and is a graduate of Armed Forces Staff College.
Mike is an avid outdoorsman and can be found on most weekends with his wife Alisha on one of Alaska's many hiking trails or on their boat out in Prince William Sound. They have 3 grown children and live in Anchorage, Alaska.
(Current as of April 2015)
Army Guard Road,
JBER, AK 99505