Tsunami alert for San Francisco leaves many confused

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- People in the San Francisco Bay Area are pretty empowered when it comes to knowing what to do to prepare for an earthquake, but many have no idea what to do in the case of a tsunami.

RELATED: Here's what to do if there's a tsunami

At 3:05 a.m. Tuesday most residents received a text from Alert SF notifying them of a Tsunami Warning after a 7.9 earthquake hit 174 miles off the coast of Alaska. Shortly after, several warnings came out from the Department of Emergency Management, including a text telling people "If you are within San Francisco and 3 blocks of the Pacific Coast or within 5 blocks of SF Bay prepare to evacuate so you are ready if evacuation is needed."

RELATED: Tsunami Watch canceled for California after massive earthquake off coast of Alaska

At 4:39 a.m., the National Tsunami Warning Center had canceled the warning.

Many people were asking Tuesday why the sirens weren't activated. The Department of Emergency Management told ABC7 News that the sirens never go off when we only have a "watch" in place. "What a Tsunami watch means is that the potential for a tsunami is being evaluated and the tsunami is not yet confirmed," explained the spokesperson of the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management, Francis Zamora.
Here's what you should do when there is a real threat of a tsunami. Move to higher ground. In the meantime, be prepared ahead of time and have a plan. Pack a go bag with water, extra clothes and a first aid kit.

RELATED: Prepare NorCal Emergency Resources
Copyright © 2019 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.