"It may be months, even years, before all the planning lessons available from the recent tsunami disaster in the Indian Ocean can be fully discerned and digested. That is not a reason to wait to take action, however. There are several obvious lessons lying on the surface, and there is much we already know about tsunamis from prior research. Those lessons should be incorporated from the outset into the international and local responses to the disaster. These five seem particularly clear:"
Among the five: "Building codes that take tsunami hazards into account already exist and are in use in the city and county of Honolulu, Hawaii. The Federal Emergency Management Agencys Coastal Engineering Manual also contains provisions for addressing tsunami hazards. Such regulations may well be more difficult to establish and enforce in poorer nations, but even incremental improvements may save thousands of lives and reduce property losses in a disaster such as the one just experienced."
Thanks to Chris Steins