Storm, Flood and Tsunami Safety


What is a Tsunami?
A tsunami is a series of waves generated by a number of causes including:

  • Vertical movement of the sea floor as the result of a large earthquake
  • Submarine or coastal volcanic eruptions
  • Meteor impacts
  • Coastal landslides and slumps, either land-based or submarine

Know your warnings
You should know the warning types, warning signs, and the official warning channels that may be used, to indicate a tsunami is approaching.

Know where to go
Find the safest route to travel in the event that you might need to evacuate and identify the point at which your evacuation route may be cut
In many locations, it is likely that you will need to evacuate by foot due to congestion on roads
Find out where any evacuation centres could be set up in your area. If you prefer, check with friends and relatives outside the affected area to organise a place to go

Know who to call

  • For emergency help in tsunami, call the NSW SES on 132 500
  • Keep local emergency numbers handy (in your phone or wallet)
  • In a life-threatening emergency, call 000 (triple zero)

The first stage of the process for warning you about a tsunami is a ‘tsunami watch’ phase. This means that there is the potential for an identified undersea earthquake to cause a tsunami threat to Australia. If there is a threat, the Bureau will issue a National Tsunami Watch. If there is no threat, a National Tsunami No Threat Bulletin will be issued.  If there is a possibility of a Land Threat Tsunami emergency services may commence evacuations immediately.

People in affected areas:

  • Locate your Emergency Kit and add any medications, important papers, special items for babies, elderly, clothing, food and water
  • Locate your Emergency Plan
  • Keep listening to your local radio station or other media for any updates and advice
  • Follow advice given to you by emergency services

It is important to act early on warnings as tsunami can reach the coastline quickly and follow the advice of emergency services.

Marine and Immediate Foreshore Warning

  • Get out of the water and move away from the immediate water’s edge of harbours, coastal estuaries, rock platforms, and beaches
  • Boats in harbours, estuaries and in shallow coastal water should return to shore. Secure your boat and move away from the waterfront
  • Vessels already at sea should stay offshore in deep water until further advised
  • DO NOT go to the coast to watch the tsunami
  • Check that your neighbours have received this advice

Keep listening to your local radio station and monitor other media for updates and advice.


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