Florence Area Tsunami Information
IF YOU LIVE AT OR VISIT THE COAST, THE INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE MAY SAVE YOUR LIFE. PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO READ IT AND SHARE WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED WITH YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS.
The evacuation zones on the map were developed by the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries in consultation with local officials. It is intended to represent a worst-case scenario for a tsunami caused by an undersea earthquake near the Oregon coast.
Evacuation routes were developed by local officials and reviewed by the Oregon Department of Emergency Management.
The map is intended for emergency response and should not be used for site-specific planning.
A tsunami is a series of sea waves usually caused by a displacement of the ocean floor by an undersea earthquake. As tsunamis enter shallow water near land, they increase in height and can cause great loss of life and property damage.
Recent research suggests that tsunamis have struck the Oregon coast on a regular basis. They can occur any time, day or night. Typical wave heights from tsunamis occurring in the Pacific over the last 80 years have been 20–45 feet at the shoreline. A few waves however have been much higher—as much as 100 feet or more—because of local conditions.
We distinguish between a tsunami caused by an undersea earthquake near the Oregon coast (LOCAL TSUNAMI) and an undersea earthquake far away from the coast (DISTANT TSUNAMI).
A LOCAL TSUNAMI could come onshore within 15 to 20 minutes after the earthquake—before there is time for official warning from a national warning system. Ground-shaking from the earthquake may be the only warning you have. Evacuate quickly!
A DISTANT TSUNAMI will take four hours or more to come onshore. You will feel no earthquake, and the tsunami will generally be smaller than that from a local earthquake. There will typically be time for an official warning and evacuation to safety.
Some communities will signal the need for evacuation for a distant tsunami by a sounding a STEADY 3-MINUTE SIREN BLAST. Read the Tsunami Sirens Protocol page for more information.
All coastal communities will receive announcements over NOAA weather radio that the local area has been put into an official TSUNAMI WARNING.
In isolated areas along beaches and bays you may not hear a warning. Here, a sudden change of sea level should prompt you to move immediately inland to high ground.
If you hear the 3-minute blast or see sudden sea level changes, evacuate away from shoreline areas, then turn on your local broadcast media or NOAA weather radio for further information.
FOR BOTH DISTANT AND LOCAL TSUNAMIS:
- Evacuate on foot if at all possible because of potential traffic jams.
- Stay away from potentially hazardous areas until you receive an ALL CLEAR from local officials. Dangerous waves can persist for several hours, and local officials must inspect all flooded or earthquake-damaged structures before anyone can go back into them.
- If you need help evacuating, tie something WHITE (sheet or towel) to the front door knob. Make it large enough to be visible from the street. If the emergency is a distant tsunami, then help may arrive. In the event of a local earthquake and tsunami, it is unlikely that anyone will help you, so make a plan and be prepared!
- After evacuation, check with the local area commander if you can help with special skills or need assistance with locating lost family.
- DROP, COVER, HOLD until the earthquake is over; protect yourself
- MOVE IMMEDIATELY INLAND to high ground and away from low-lying coastal areas
- FOLLOW EVACUATION ROUTE SIGNS
- DO NOT WAIT for an offical warning
- GO ON FOOT if at all possible
- DO NOT PACK or delay
- DO NOT RETURN to the beach – large waves may continue to come onshore for several hours
- WAIT for an “all clear” from local emergency officials before returning to low-lying areas
Be prepared BEFORE a tsunami strikes!
How to help with tsunami awareness in your community:
- Start a tsunami buddy sytem
- Make and distribute emergency packs
- Initiate or participate in a local preparedness program
Assemble emergency kits with at least a 3-day supply for each family member:
- First-aid kit and reference guide
- Water — 1 gallon per person per day, for drinking, hygiene, and cooking
- Food (packaged, canned, no-cook, as well as baby food and food for special diets)
- Can opener (nonelectric)
- Blankets or sleeping bags
- Fire extinguisher (standard)
- Essential medications
- Food, water, and leashes for pets
- Portable radio, NOAA weather radio, flashlights, and batteries
- Alternate cooking source and matches
- Heavy gloves and study shoes
- Crescent wrench for utility shutoff (12” or larger)
City of Florence
Tsunami Emergency Evacuation
Protecting Yourself From a Tsunami
Source: City of Florence, March 1999
Ammended: April, 2010
1. If you feel an earthquake when you are in the Florence area, protect yourself from the effects of the quake by dropping, covering, and holding on if you are inside and staying away from falling objects if you are outside until the earthquake is over.
2. Then if you are in the tsunami inundation zone and even if you have been frightened or hurt by the earthquake, you must immediately move inland or to high ground, away from areas that could be affected by tsunamis (see reverse side for inundation zone map).
Tsunamis can travel upstream in coastal rivers and estuaries and follow low lying contours of the ground with damaging waves extending farther inland than the immediate coastline. Do not wait for an official warning because the tsunami may strike before authorities have time to issue a warning.
Remember, all ocean beach areas and low lying areas along the Siuslaw River and it’s tributaries are considered to be in the tsunami inundation zone!
3. If you think you have time, get your disaster supply kit (see City of Florence Fire Department Family Disaster Plan pamphlet).
4. If you are able, warn or help elderly or disabled neighbors.
5. Do not return to your home or inundation areas after the first wave. Additional waves may arrive later, be higher, and go further inland. Waves may continue to come in for several hours.
6. Never go to the beach to watch for a tsunami. Tsunamis move much faster than a person can run. Also, incoming traffic hampers safe and timely evacuation of coastal areas.
7. If you see a sudden and unexpected rise or fall in coastal water, a tsunami may be approaching. Do not wait to investigate, because the next wave may be a large tsunami. Instead move inland or uphill as quickly as possible.
8. Use the map to plan your evacuation route. Also download and read the Tsunami Evacuation Brochure for more information and a detailed map of inundation zones and evacuation assembly areas in Florence.
Evacuation Routes for the Florence Area:
SOUTHWEST SIDE OF FLORENCE: Use Rhododendron Drive or 9th street to get to Highway 101. Go North on 101 to at least 15th street. Use any large parking lot and wait for additional information from local emergency officials.
SOUTH AND SOUTHEAST SIDE OF FLORENCE: If you live in the area around the Florence Events Center go to that location. Otherwise use available streets to get to Highway 101. Go North on 101 to at least 15th street and use any large parking lot. Wait for additional information from local emergency officials.
WEST AND NEAR NORTH SIDE OF FLORENCE: 9th street and 35th street are the main evacuation routes. Remain north of 15th street on 101. Use any large parking lot and wait for the all clear from local emergency officials. For residents of Greentrees West it may be safest to assemble in the Greentrees East area and remain there until contacted by local emergency officials.
HECETA BEACH AND NORTH RHODODENDRON DRIVE AREA: Use Heceta Beach road or 35th street to get to Highway 101. Use any large parking area to wait for emergency personnel. Do not attempt to drive into the city.
For official information:
Official public announcements and both general and specific information about Tsunami watches and warnings will be broadcast on KCST Radio, 106.9 FM and updated as the event progresses. If conditions warrant, additional broadcast stations will be programmed with KCST’s content. Additional stations include:
KCFM-AM, 1250 am, Florence
KCFM-FM, 104.1 fm, Florence
KCFM-translator 103.1 fm Mapleton
National Weather Service, via NOAA Weather radio: 162.500 MHz
For Any Emergency, Dial 911
DO NOT call 911 emergency services unless you have an immediate, life-threatening emergency.
DO NOT call 911 emergency services to inquire about Tsunami watches or warnings, nor to obtain information about ongoing Tsunami evacuations. Use your broadcast radio and tune to the stations listed above for this information.
Non-emergency business numbers:
Florence Police (541) 997-3515
Florence Fire Department (541) 997-3564
Florence Public Works (541) 997-4106
US Coast Guard (541) 997-3631
Oregon State Police (541) 997-9635
Lane County Sheriff (541) 997-3631
Oregon Emergency Management
City of Florence
250 Hwy 101,
Florence, OR 97439
Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue
2625 Highway 101
North Florence, OR 97439
Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries
800 NE Oregon Street #28, Suite 965
Portland, OR 97232
International Tsunami Information Centre
Honolulu, HI 96850-4993