The New York Times did an article last year on Cannon Beach, Oregon's looking into building a new City Hall that would double as a tsunami escape for 1000 people. I hadn't realized they'd been hit by the 1964 tsunami generated by the Alaska 9.2 Prince William Sound quake.

As Susan noted -- they may be looking at as little as 10 minutes between a quake and tsunami coming ashore.

“In the best case, we’ll have a few hours’ warning from an earthquake that happened somewhere far away in the Pacific Basin,” said Mr. Rooper, who has worked in the fire department for 40 years. “In the worst case, we’ll have 10 to 20 minutes after the ground stops shaking here to try to get to high ground.”

There are so few roads connecting the coast to the rest of the state that getting help in could be extremely difficult. And a big subduction quake likely will have caused significant damage inland. Portland is about 70 miles away.

...there’s a 37 percent chance of a partial rupture of the zone within the next 50 years, an event that could be similar in magnitude to the earthquake just experienced in Chile.

“Perhaps more striking than the probability numbers is that we have already gone longer without an earthquake than 75 percent of the known times between earthquakes in the last 10,000 years,”