The focus of this document is on structures intended to provide protection during a short-term high-risk tsunami event. Such facilities are generally termed refuges. A vertical evacuation refuge from tsunamis is a building or earthen mound that has sufficient height to elevate evacuees above the level of tsunami inundation, and is designed and constructed with the strength and resiliency needed to resist the effects of tsunami waves.
This document is a resource for engineers, architects, state and local government officials, building officials, community planners, and building owners who are considering the construction and operation of tsunami-resistant structures that are intended to be a safe haven for evacuees during a tsunami event. It provides guidance on the design and construction of structures that could be used as a refuge for vertical evacuation above rising waters associated with tsunami inundation, and includes specific recommendations on loading, configuration, location, operation, and maintenance of such facilities. It is intended for use in areas of the United States that are exposed to tsunami hazard, but that should not preclude the use of this guidance for facilities located in other areas exposed to similar hazards.