Almost all the elementary and junior high school children of Kamaishi, a small coastal town in Iwate, managed to survive the tsunami. Many people said it was a miracle, but it wasn't. The response capabilities they learned at school helped them to overcome a disaster that exceeded all worst-case scenarios. See article here: http://wedge.ismedia.jp/articles/-/1334?page=1.
Following the tragic 3.11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, New Zealand’s GNS Science in collaboration with Washington State Emergency Management and other stakeholders set out to further analyze the successes of the evacuation and messaging approaches used in this event. A key element of this research was to investigate both traditional tsunami evacuation strategies used in communities, schools, etc. as well as non-traditional approaches, such as vertical evacuation techniques and draw parallels with the concepts being applied in New Zealand, Washington, and elsewhere in the United States. The report can be found here.
National Tsunami Preparedness Week began March 25, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Washington Emergency Management Division (WA-EMD) urge all citizens who live along coastlines to take the threat of tsunamis seriously.
In some communities, traditional evacuations are not always an option. FEMA led the development of a new approach to dealing with this challenge called Tsunami Vertical Evacuation. Watch the video on how to use this new approach at: http://youtu.be/_h26_DUKMzA. This video was developed by FEMA RiskMap, FEMA Region X, WA-EMD, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program (NTHMP). Click here for Press Release.
Cannon Beach has been proactive on preparing for earthquakes, with a vital emergency preparations committee, leadership and citizens. Cannon Beach recently completed 2 important studies, one on geotechnical conditions which confirmed weak soils at the existing city hall location, and another on tsunami evacuation simulation. Please see more details from The Oregonian here.