The 7 Best Tsunami Tracker Apps and Services Of 2020

Tidal waves are furiously fast; stay informed with these tools

If you live near the ocean or travel frequently near the sea, tsunamis are a very real threat that can strike at any time. Fortunately, you can monitor them with a tsunami tracking app or other tools on your PC, smartphone or tablet.

This list of tsunami-related apps and services can help you stay safe in the event an earthquake or volcano triggers a dangerous water situation wherever you are. If you need help with other types of natural disasters, you can check out these additional emergency alert apps.

The tools listed here will work on both iOS and Android devices unless otherwise noted. Some tools rely on websites instead. Always listen to emergency officials in your area to be certain you have the very latest information for your location and situation.

01
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Best Tsunami App for United States Locations: FEMA

Screenshots from the FEMA app.
What We Like
  • You can choose up to 5 U.S. locations to monitor.

  • Different notifications can be set for each location.

  • You can share real-time notifications with others.

What We Don't Like
  • The app isn't available outside the U.S.

  • Notification sounds are not customizable.

This completely free app for the United States includes so many features, it's tough to pick out a favorite. It's ridiculously easy to customize; you can select alerts from basic coastal or lakeshore flood notifications to high surf warnings to tsunami advisories, watches, and warnings (along with numerous other disaster types).

Also, the home page of this app is smartly designed to let you check alerts, get disaster preparation information, and find disaster or evacuation resources all in the same spot.

To help with communication following a tsunami or other natural disaster, the app even lets you share real-time notifications with loved ones via text, email and social media.

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02
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Best Tsunami Text Alert System: SMS-Tsunami-Warning.com

SMS Tsunami sample customization and alert screens
What We Like
  • Super simple concept.

  • Works with hundreds of carriers worldwide.

  • Monitors up to 5 locations.

What We Don't Like
  • Only email alerts are free.

  • No free trial period.

SMS-Tsunami-Warning.com provides a text messaging earthquake and tsunami warning platform interfaced with real-time data on global seismic activity sourced from official seismic research centers from around the world. This warning system differs from a standard application in that it's actually a GMS texting service that can work with more than 800 phone carriers.

Their system uses a sophisticated algorithm which estimates the level of risk associated to individual members based on several earthquake parameters such as quake location, magnitude, depth, type and the location of individual.

You can sign up for email alerts free with a combo of email, text, and voice alerts starting at $12.95 annually. Couple and family plans are available as well. The system allows you to customize your alerts, monitors up to 5 locations of your choice, and includes a test alert to ensure your phone works correctly with the service. The list of countries and carriers served is updated regularly; you're guaranteed text alerts when traveling to any of these locations and using these carriers.

03
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Easiest Warning App to Use: Earthquake Tsunami Pro

Screenshots from EQ Tsunami App Pro
What We Like
  • Nicely detailed graphics.

  • Push notifications.

  • Very easy to use.

What We Don't Like
  • In-app purchases for basic options.

  • Only works with iOS devices.

This iOS-only app lets you customize the types of earthquakes you want to be notified about. The graphics are fairly detailed and a drag-and-drop pin feature makes it very simple to tag locations, which is particularly useful for travelers.

The app provides simple and clear details about earthquakes, easy-to-read notifications, and free push notifications. However, it does ask for inexpensive in-app purchases to provide sound and location alerts, which are both options you'll probably want so 'free' is not necessarily free with this app.

The app only works with iOS 8.0 or later and is available for iPhone and iPad.

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04
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Best RSS Tsunami Warning Feeds: Pacific, Caribbean, and Hawaii

Pacific Tsunami Warning Center screenshot
What We Like
  • Use of RSS instead of apps.

  • Covers Pacific and Caribbean oceans.

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't cover most of the world's oceans.

  • RSS can be clunky to use.

You can keep an eye on the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) site for quick visuals of what's happening in several ocean areas. However, for push notification, you should check out its RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds that offer specific tsunami warning and tracking information. RSS is a way for website authors to publish notifications of new content on their website, which can include newscasts, blog posts, weather reports, and podcasts during emergencies.

Most web browsers let you quickly open the page source with the Ctrl+U or Command+U keyboard shortcut. Once you see the source code, search through it (with Ctrl+F or Command+F) for RSS. You can often find the direct link to the feed somewhere around that line.

The PTWC offers three separate feeds to help you stay posted on the latest ocean information in:

05
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Best Tsunami Evacuation App for Pacific Northwest Residents: NVS Tsunami Evacuation

NVS Tsunami Evacuation screens
What We Like
  • Clearly shows areas of risk.

  • Backed by NOAA.

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't offer tsunami tracking information.

  • Only available for two states.

If you live in or travel to Oregon or Washington, you'll like this free app. It's a product of the Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems (NANOOS) and sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); you can use it to see if your current location is in a tsunami hazard zone.

It tells you if you are in a tsunami impact area that is likely to need immediate evacuation (10-20 minutes) after you feel an earthquake; if you have more time to prepare for evacuation (up to four hours); or if you're in a location that is considered safe from killer waves.

This app does not technically offer a tracking system, so it should be used in conjunction with one that actively tracks tsunamis in real-time. However, it's an important app to have on hand if you are near the coastal regions of either state and feel the familiar shake of an earthquake.

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06
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Best App for Tsunami Alerts Worldwide: Disaster Alert

Disaster Alert screenshot of cloud layers and warning types
What We Like
  • 18 types of hazard alerts.

  • Animated mapping.

What We Don't Like
  • Excessively slow load times.

This app is an all-around disaster app that offers information on disasters worldwide that have the highest potential to impact large populations. Built by the Pacific Disaster Center, Disaster Alert provides free alerts for 18 different types of hazards and covers the globe with its information.

Extras from this app include animated map layers, tropical storm tracking, and customizable hazard alerts based on location and severity. One word of caution: This app can have very slow loading times, bordering on unresponsive, due to the data it downloads from around the world. If you see this immediately after download, move on to another app; this one won't properly work on your device.

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07
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Best Real-time Tsunami Simulation: IH-Tsunami System

Screenshots from the IH Tsunami app.
What We Like
  • Simple, clear details.

  • Tsunami simulation and probability information.

  • Multiple filtering options.

What We Don't Like
  • Cannot customize to specific locations.

  • Not very intuitive to use.

  • Only available for Android devices.

When an earthquake occurs, this app notes earthquake location, size, and depth and calculates the probability of a resulting tsunami occurring. It also shows simulations of expected tsunamis, including sea surface height and travel time of the monster waves.

It does offer the ability to search earthquakes by magnitude or date, and you can check for those by day, week, or month, too. The geological information is provided via U.S. Geological Survey real-time information. Overall, this is a good app that can provide useful information if you are in an impacted area. However, it doesn't notify you of specific problems in your area; you'll need to monitor the app manually if you feel the earth move where you are.

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