Hopefully, the Japan experience and the isolated tsunami damage in California and Oregon will raise lasting awareness among a significant number of residents of the U.S. west coast. Some of those folks may find their way to ETS.

Meanwhile, the tsunami alerts in Oregon and California provided some "teachable moments" for some public officials -- such as knowing warning systems will work when needed.

Oregon and Washington coasts will have only 30 minutes or so before a tsunami hits, when the subduction zone quake scenario in that region plays out as anticipated someday. I've spent many vacations at Cannon Beach, Oregon. We spend hours walking on that gorgeous miles-long beach, blissfully unaware of news reports. Have to be mentally conditioned run to higher ground after feeling a tremor.

Tillamook County, Oregon cheaped out on warning sirens ($1 surplus) and they didn't activate as they were supposed to:


"Some of the sirens in Tillamook County did not activate and had to be sounded by hand. The technology is very old, said Sheriff Todd Anderson, who noted the sirens were purchased for $1 from the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, and replacement parts cannot be found."

Portland is only 75 miles from the coast, a fact which has now spawned some increasing realization among some of my friends and relatives there that has resulted in some protracted e-mail exchanges with me since last night. I think at least a couple of them will take meaningful steps to increase their own preparedness at home and in their vehicles.