Tsunami, Southern Oregon Coast, 2011

After hearing about the horrific earthquake in Japan I watched the late news and wondered if there was a possibility of a Tsunami on the west coast. Living in a coastal town I was worried that we could possibly be in danger. The news reported nothing of the sort and I went to sleep relieved.

Friday morning we woke up to the sounds of sirens at about 4am. It was the tsunami warning I feared just hours before. We turned on the news and learned we had a few hours to prepare for evacuation. I started to grab a bag and threw some clothes and first aid supplies in. I really had no idea of what to pack!

After loading our truck up with a few blankets and our bags, we headed over to the grandkids house. My daughter-in-law had already been up and was packing bags for the kids. We started to fill bottles with water and make our plans for where to go.

We were lucky enough to have hours of warning. Since I haven’t lived on the coast all my life I didn’t really know what to expect. There had been other warnings since we moved here but none as urgent as this one seemed. I called all of my sons and let them know what was going on. I wasn’t sure if we would lose cell service and I wanted them to know we were fine.

Throughout the day we waited and worried as each surge was announced on the radio. Hearing about many of the boats and docks drifting to sea. The coast guard helicopters going up and down the coastline was a constant reminder it wasn’t over yet. By the end of the day we all had learned out port was hit really hard

The estimate cost of damage here is $25 – $30 Million dollars. Many boats, docks and pillars were damaged or were carried out to sea or sunk. So many are out of work today because of this tragedy, which will surely hurt our small town’s economy. The Governor of Oregon has even declared this a state of emergency.


Im very thankful our alert system is in place and evacuation was smooth. The local radio station was extremely helpful announcing places to go. Many churches opened their doors to residents. One church even hosted a luncheon inviting anyone and everyone who needed a meal. Local veterinarians even offered to have pets dropped off and housed for those evacuating.

We were lucky enough that my son’s house was in a very safe spot and were able to stay there with the kids after all, but it lead me to wonder about the evacuation map. I had no idea what area was safe compared to others. Our house is so close to the mouth of the river I was almost sure we weren’t in a safe zone.

Since this has happened, I have taken time to look up the local emergency plan and map. I have also looked into what supplies we should consider having ready. FEMA suggests the six basics you should stock in your home:

    Water (for 72 hours, 1 gallon per person per day)
    Food (non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items like tuna or dried foods)
    First aid supplies (Any prescription medications or medical items, emergency blankets)
    Clothing, bedding and sanitation supplies (Sanitary/personal hygiene items, including toilet paper)
    Tools (Flashlight, Battery powered radio)
    Special items (Copies of personal documents and emergency contact information – stored in waterproof protection, like a plastic bag, diapers, baby needs and toys, extra batteries, Cash.. including change – in case cell service goes out and you need to use a pay phone)

For more information on what your family needs check out Basic Disaster Supplies.


  1. wow. iam so thankful ALL of you are ok. i was worried about all of you all day.

    • Nana Poppins says

      Thank you for being the go between that day when I couldnt reach the boys.

  2. so much has been said about Japan but so very little about what happened on our west coast.

    • Nana Poppins says

      Im really shocked at how little the news (beyond local) has said about the hit our coast took. Considering our town’s devastation is into many millions and Crescent City California lost its entire harbor!! Many locals make a living off their boats and are now left with nothing.

  3. So glad your family is safe!

    I’m following you through the Friday hop! Look forward to reading more of your posts.

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