In reference to the letter “Prattle” by Jennifer Barrett (The Daily Astorian, July 22): I’m sure she is well intentioned, but I could not disagree more. The “prattle” title says that she does not take her message seriously. We should not either.

As to preventing a tsunami from reaching our shores: Spouting such a suggestion flies in the face of how the physical world works. I fear this is an example of our failed education system, too many comic books, habitual television watching and new-age drivel.

A transparent seawall? Was that not a Star Trek movie about saving the whales?

As to preventing the loss of life and property: Preventing loss of life is what the Seaside Tsunami Advisory Group (TAG) has been working on for the last three years. We have taken every opportunity to educate our residents and visitors and to organize the five high-ground neighborhood assembly areas with barrels containing disaster supplies.

We have made proposals for bridge improvements and creating (funding) pedestrian foot bridges to shorten the paths for people to get to high ground. We are trying to influence building codes to make new commercial construction include a vertical evacuation capability.

Planning for disaster recovery is reality for individuals, businesses and governments. Such efforts are very relevant in real-world planning. We will recover and life will go on.

Re: “‘We have 20 minutes!’ is the mantra. No one will be going anywhere with that kind of force shaking the earth,” and “Any clear-thinking individual would not dream that one could survive a similar earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan.”

Japan spent billions of dollars and years preparing for a tsunami. They simply failed to make the walls high enough. In the aftermath, stone markers were found on the hills from the year 1700 giving warning, “Do not build below this marker.” Unfortunately, the message was lost over time.

We do not have the national will to invest in anything like the Japanese seawalls. The Japanese are the most disaster-educated and prepared nation in the world, and yet they suffered a great loss of life. Bodies were found dressed with many layers of clothing. Some people took the 20 critical minutes to dress in extra clothing. That delay cost them their lives.

Take this lesson to heart: Run to high ground when the shaking stops. The shaking will stop after a few long minutes and we will have aftershocks. We will then have 15 to 20 minutes to get to high ground. If we have our “Go Bags” close at hand and we do not stop to try the car, we can get to high ground. Giving up makes no sense. Get moving.

Prepare in your mind. Prepare with a “Go Bag” close at hand and go quickly on foot. Know where high ground is at all times along the coast. Prepare each member of your family with the same insights.


Seaside Tsunami Advisory Group