Note: This course is on a non-federal government website operated by the Cooperative Program for Operational Meteorology, Education, and Training (COMET).
Course overview: This module is designed to help emergency managers prepare their communities for tsunamis. Lessons include basic tsunami science, hazards produced by tsunamis, regional U.S. tsunami risks, the tsunami warning system, the importance of public education activities, and how to craft good emergency messages and develop tsunami response plans. Additional content provides video interviews of lessons learned by public officials in Crescent City, CA after the March 11, 2011 tsunami that originated in Japan.
The module also contains links to extensive Reference and Resources sections. The latter includes tsunami PowerPoint presentations for each major U.S. region (Atlantic Coast, Gulf Coast, West Coast, Hawaii and Pacific Islands, Alaska, and Caribbean) that can be downloaded and customized for a particular location or need.
FEMA IS-326 test answers
Question 1. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is typically activated by the National Weather Service for which tsunami alert:
B. High Seas Statements
C. Information Statements
Question 2. A tsunami is:
A. A huge curling wave that can only be surfed by experts
B. A rapid increase in water level due to extremely high tides combined with heavy precipitation
C. A single wave that arrives at the beach traveling at the speed of a jet plane
D. A series of waves in which the largest one may come after the first wave✅
Question 3. Strong earthquakes cause most tsunamis because they:
A. Shake the water more violently, causing larger waves
B. Displace more sea floor, which moves more water✅
Question 4. If a community has tsunami warning sirens, other communication methods will not be necessary.
Question 5. Tsunami waves often flow inland for several minutes, resulting in flooding that continues longer than that caused by storm surge.
Question 6. A Tsunami Response Plan should include training and education activities, as well as disaster management tactics.
Question 7. Which Tsunami Warning Center issues tsunami alerts for the Gulf or Atlantic Coasts or in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands?
A. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center✅
B. Joint Atlantic/Caribbean Tsunami Warning Center
C. West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center
D. North American Tsunami Warning Center
Question 8. The energy of tsunami waves is distributed throughout the water column, while that of wind waves is only in the top few hundred feet (hundred meters) of the ocean.
Question 9. Tsunami forecasts may not be 100% accurate due mainly to a lack of data, especially soon after an event. This means an emergency manager should:
A. Be on alert but wait until the Tsunami Warning Center sends a confirmation message
B. Expect waves that are at least the forecast height and take appropriate precautions✅
C. Plan for waves with heights half of what is forecast
D. Not take action until tide gages register increased activity
Question 10. The U.S. East Coast:
A. Could experience tsunamis from distant sources✅
B. Will not have tsunamis unless they are caused by landslides or volcanoes
C. Is safe from tsunamis because it is not in a seismically active zone
D. Has no history or geological evidence of past tsunamis
Question 11. If a tele tsunami is coming in about 4 hours, would an emergency manager recommend that boat owners leave the harbor?
A. No, boats are safer in the harbor than out in the open ocean✅
B. Yes, as long as boats can get out safely to deep water
Question 12. Communities that experience a damaging tsunami should expect to address problems related to post-traumatic stress disorder.
Question 13. Once the first tsunami wave comes ashore, you can expect subsequent waves to be the same size or smaller.
Question 14. During a disaster people may not react immediately to a tsunami warning until they have confirmation from others that they should do so.
Question 15. While the Caribbean is at risk from tsunamis due to earthquakes in the seismically active zones, submarine landslides are unlikely to occur.
Question 16. An Information Statement issued by the Tsunami Warning Centers:
A. Indicates that a tsunami has been generated but is not expected to cause damage
B. Alerts people that an earthquake has occurred but sea level data has not yet confirmed whether a tsunami has happened
C. Precedes a Tsunami Watch, Warning, or Advisory message
D. Is issued when an earthquake has occurred but a destructive tsunami is not expected✅
Question 17. Early in a potential tsunami event, the Tsunami Warning Centers use pre-computed model runs to forecast tsunami wave heights based on hypothetical earthquakes.
Question 18. On the U.S. West Coast, the largest tsunami threat is likely to be triggered by: (Choose best answer)
A. A large earthquake off the coast of Japan
B. An earthquake in the San Andreas Fault
C. A volcanic eruption near Hawaii
D. An earthquake in the Cascadia subduction zone✅
Question 19. The cancellation of a Tsunami Warning means:
A. Widespread inundation is no longer expected, but the emergency manager should consider local conditions before issuing the All-Clear✅
B. The earthquake probably occurred on land rather than under the ocean
C. The Director of the Tsunami Warning Center has issued the All-Clear
D. The area is now under a Tsunami Watch
Question 20. One of the main differences between a near-field tsunami and a far-field one is:
A. Near-field tsunamis are usually caused by weaker earthquakes
B. The Tsunami Warning Centers will probably not have time to issue warnings for the first wave(s) of a near-field tsunami✅
C. Near-field tsunamis have a lower wave height
D. Only Advisory messages are sent by the Tsunami Warning Centers for near-field tsunamis
Question 21. A tsunami wave that is 2 feet (0.6 meters) is considered minor, so beaches, oceans, and harbors will be safe for the public.
Question 22. The Tsunami Ready Program
A. Is the name given to the overall warning system managed by the Tsunami Warning Centers
B. Recognizes communities that follow certain guidelines to improve tsunami safety and awareness✅
C. Helps communities build seawalls to prevent tsunami inundation
D. Is a PowerPoint presentation emergency managers can use to educate citizens
Question 23. Earthquakes less than 7.0 magnitude cannot generate tsunamis.
Question 24. Which event would NOT be a sign that a tsunami was about to occur:
A. Water levels rose suddenly✅
B. A rainstorm lasted for an unusually long time
C. Large areas of the seabed were exposed
D. The water looked unusually turbulent and you heard a roaring noise
Question 25. Tsunamis and wind waves differ, in part, in that the time between two tsunami waves can be many minutes or hours, while wind waves are usually only several seconds apart
Question 26. Good warning messages for the public should:
A. Should avoid talking about possible consequences so people don’t panic
B. Explain the possible consequences if the instructions are not followed✅
Question 27. A Tsunami Warning means:
A. A tsunami has occurred but will not arrive for several hours
B. Strong currents are possible but significant inundation is not expected
C. Significant inundation is expected✅
D. A tsunami is not expected
Question 28. The Tsunami Warning Centers issue forecasts of wave amplitude, which is:
A. One-half the height measured from the crest of the wave to the trough✅
B. A measure of the force of the tsunami
C. The height measured from the crest of the wave to the trough
D. Twice the height measured from the crest of the wave to the trough1
Question 29. What is a far-field tsunami?
A. A tsunami triggered by a strong earthquake far inland from the coast
B. A tsunami generated by a strong earthquake in one part of an ocean basin that travels to distant locations✅
C. A tsunami that has been registered by sensors in the deep ocean
D. A tsunami that produces a run-up that extends past the expected inundation zone
Question 30. Earthquakes off the Alaskan coast cannot trigger tele tsunamis (distant-source tsunamis) because of the shape of the Gulf of Alaska.
Question 31. If the Tsunami Warning Center issues a Tsunami Advisory, should the emergency manager close beaches and evacuate harbors?
A. Yes, because currents and waves can be dangerous✅
B. No, because an Advisory means an earthquake has occurred but a tsunami has not been generated.
Question 32. Tsunamis are most often caused by:
A. Strong earthquakes that occur under the ocean✅
B. Undersea volcanoes
C. Land-based earthquakes land that are magnitude 7 or higher
D. Glaciers calving
Question 33. The one thing not usually covered in a Tsunami Response Plan is:
A. Future mitigation plans, such as building code changes✅
B. Procedures for documenting disaster costs
C. How to call in staff in an emergency
D. Training procedures
Question 34. If water at the coast is behaving abnormally or a strong earthquake has occurred locally, the first thing an emergency manager should do is:
A. Be on alert for an official Tsunami Warning Center message
B. Evacuate the beaches
C. Call the Tsunami Warning Center to ask if a tsunami has been generated✅
D. Send boats to deeper water
Question 35. In a near-field tsunami, emergency responders should assemble in the inundation zone immediately so they can direct the evacuation.
Question 36. If a strong earthquake occurs, it is unnecessary to leave the beach until a tsunami is seen coming because most people can outrun the waves.
Question 37. In addition to earthquakes, tsunamis can be caused by:
A. Strong winds
B. Climate change
C. High tides
D. Submarine landslides✅
Question 38. Hawaii and other areas in the Pacific have a high to very high risk of tsunamis because of the relatively large number of earthquakes and volcanoes in the area.
Question 39. In the event of a near-field tsunami, it is generally recommended that the public evacuate immediately using their cars or mass transportation.
Question 40. Tsunami models run at the Tsunami Warning Centers help predict wave amplitudes and when the waves might arrive at different locations.