Tsunami Awareness Happens a Day Late in Los Angeles County (Really)

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Tue, Mar 22, 2011 at 3:07 PM
click to enlarge Andrew Davis at Mav's. This is not a tsunami.
  • Andrew Davis at Mav's. This is not a tsunami.

County leaders want you be aware -- and to prepare -- for a tsunami in L.A. They're getting behind "Tsunami Awareness and Preparedness Week." Which started ...

click to enlarge Marina Del Rey, under the county's jurisdiction, would be hit hard by a tsunami, according to this projection.
  • Marina Del Rey, under the county's jurisdiction, would be hit hard by a tsunami, according to this projection.

... yesterday!

Really? Only in L.A. could people tell you to wake up to the possibility of a catastrophic event that might have already happened. Be aware. Prepare. Tomorrow. Or the next day.

County supervisors Don Knabe and Zev Yaroslavsky "announced today the County will support various Federal and State agencies in declaring March 20-26 'Tsunami Awareness and Preparedness Week,'" according to a statement from Knabe's office.

The full Board of Supervisors approved the motion to "ask for report back in one week on outreach/education campaign to bring Tsunami awareness to County residents," according to county statement.

Cool. So, eh. We'll just wait for a week. During Tsunami Awareness and Preparedness Week. Awesome.

Here's LA Weekly's official advice. Grab a Boogieboard and hold on until we see that report next week on the preparedness that should have been going on the week before.

click to enlarge Boogieboard preparedness. - MOREY
  • Morey
  • Boogieboard preparedness.

Not to make light of what has happened in Japan: We must learn from it. And declaring we must be prepared two days into Tsunami Awareness and Preparedness Week, and then saying we'll see a report on it in a week, that's not doing it right.

As the map above indicates, some very dense parts of L.A., including Marina Del Rey and Venice, could see horrible events if a good-sized tsunami hit. It is important to take tsunami awareness serious. Perhaps more seriously than has the county.


Over the past decade, I have worked to ensure that the County has a tsunami emergency plan and that it is continually updated based on new scientific data and the most current technologies. Given the tragic events in Japan, now is the time to remind our residents, particularly those in our beach communities, about the importance of being prepared and having a plan in place for their homes and families.

To be fair, the supervisors met today, not yesterday.

Still, maybe the time to inform Angelenos that it was time to gear up for a possible tsunami -- and to join in Tsunami Awareness and Preparedness Week -- was last week's meeting. Maybe?

Better late than never.

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