The Insurance Journal has taken note of our new Tsunami signs and has some numbers regarding how much it cost to put them up. I can’t say I think $358k worth of signs telling you to use common sense are all that great of an investment, but we live in a litigious society which seemingly demands signs for the most mundane things. How about they just make a universal sign that says “don’t be an idiot” that can replace all the other signs that warn you of things from every pole in existence.
Me? I’ll probably cruise over to the Marriott if I hear a really big wave is on the way .. grab a beer and take pictures.
A 2005 study by the California Seismic Safety Commission found that a tsunami generated by a large offshore quake would threaten at least 1 million coastal residents and swamp the nation’s largest port complex. The same report also found gaps in the state’s readiness to handle a tsunami.
Since 1812, 14 tsunamis with waves higher than 3 feet have been observed along the California coast, but only six caused destruction. The deadliest occurred in 1964 when a magnitude-9.2 quake in Alaska spawned tsunami waves that killed 12 people in Northern California.
While devastating tsunamis are rare, emergency responders are concerned because of increasing development along the coast.
Last winter, Los Angeles spent about $8,000 to post 60 signs in Venice, Pacific Palisades and coastal communities near the Los Angeles International Airport. The city plans to use a $350,000 federal grant to install more signs as early as this summer.
“It’s for public safety. The more people know about it, the better they’re prepared for an emergency,” said Richard Deppisch, the city’s emergency preparedness coordinator.
Some beachgoers say the signs are useless without emergency sirens to warn tourists and residents of incoming waves.
“If it happens at night, no one is going to be on the beach to say, ‘Run away,'” said E. Grant Hardacre, a lawyer and surfer.