Research Portal

July 1, 2022

Cascadia Subduction Zone Residents’ Tsunami Evacuation Expectations.

Lindell, Michael K.; Prater, Carla S.; House, Donald H. (2022). Cascadia Subduction Zone Residents’ Tsunami Evacuation Expectations. Geosciences (2076-3263), 12(5).

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The U.S. Pacific Northwest coast must be prepared to evacuate immediately after a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake. This requires coastal residents to understand the tsunami threat, have accurate expectations about warning sources, engage in preimpact evacuation preparedness actions, and plan (and practice) their evacuation logistics, including an appropriate transportation mode, evacuation route, and destination. A survey of 221 residents in three communities identified areas in which many coastal residents have reached adequate levels of preparedness. Moreover, residents who are not adequately prepared are willing to improve their performance in most of the areas in which they fall short. However, many respondents expect to engage in time-consuming evacuation preparations before evacuating. Additionally, their estimates of evacuation travel time might be inaccurate because only 28-52% had practiced their evacuation routes. These results indicate that more coastal residents should prepare grab-and-go kits to speed their departure, as well as practice evacuation preparation and evacuation travel to test the accuracy of these evacuation time estimates. Overall, these results, together with recommendations for overcoming them, can guide CSZ emergency managers in methods of improving hazard awareness and education programs. In addition, these data can guide transportation engineers' evacuation analyses and evacuation plans.


Subduction Zones; Tsunamis; Tsunami Warning Systems; Civilian Evacuation; Earthquake Zones; Transportation Engineering; Expectation (psychology); Residents; Cascadia Subduction Zone; Evacuation Preparedness; Evacuation Time Estimates; Tsunami; Natural Warning Signs; Coastal Communities; American-samoa; New-zealand; Earthquake; Behavior; Preparedness; Awareness; Japan; Washington; Earthquakes; Transportation; Evacuations & Rescues; Travel Time; Subduction; Surveying; Evacuation; Travel; Coasts; Emergency Warning Programs; Seismic Activity; Emergency Preparedness; Perceptions; Traveltime; Coastal Zone; Peers; Estimates; Logistics; Evacuation Routing; Subduction (geology); Households; United States--us; Pacific Northwest; Cascadia