Just like a real tsunami, the awkwardly named National Tsunami Awareness Week caught us off guard today. What does one do for NTAW, exactly? Well, you start by looking around you and figuring out where the higher ground is, basically. Then you watch this dramatic video from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. And then, finally, you check this handy tsunami inundation map to answer the burning question: will I lose my San Francisco apartment in a tsunami?
The short answer is: No, not unless you live on a low-lying part of 48th Avenue, along Marina Boulevard or out on Treasure Island, where the whole thing will be submerged in the wake of a tsunami. Although nude bathers at Baker Beach should take note that the pile of clothing the left back with the towels will probably get swept out to sea when the big one comes crashing in.
Likewise, along the Northern and Eastern waterfronts, all those America's Cup development dollars could get smacked with a wall of water. Anyone on a houseboat in Mission Creek or up in Sausalito would probably do well to come ashore during any tsunami warnings as well. Anyone just a few blocks from the waterline now can pop over to the USGS's Interactive Tsunami map here to find out if they could suddenly find themselves with waterfront property ater a major seismic event.
In the meantime, it's hard to conceive of what a tsunami will actually look like coming ashore since we've all been brainwashed by Hollywood's own special vision, but here's what it looked like after the Japanese Earthquake in 2011 pushed a tsunami all the way across the Pacific to Emeryville: