Get prepped for Great Washington ShakeOut on Oct. 17, 2019
Drop, cover and hold on Oct. 17 during the Great Washington ShakeOut, part of the world’s largest earthquake exercise.
Last year, a record breaking 1.3 million Washington residents signed up to practice their earthquake readiness during the annual earthquake drill and there’s high hopes that record will be broken again.
People and organizations can sign up to participate at www.shakeout.org/washington. Registration isn’t required but helps the state tally how many are participating.
At 10:17 a.m., Oct. 17, residents are encouraged to drop, cover, and hold on wherever they are at their home, business or even in a park, as if a real earthquake were occurring. Drop to the ground, cover your head and neck or go under a desk or sturdy table and hold on. The worst thing someone could do is run, risking falls and injury from debris or even stand in a door frame (which is not any safer than other parts of the building).
All of the coastal tsunami sirens in Washington state will also be tested at that time, 10:17 a.m., Oct. 17 using the real sound of the siren, not the Westminster Chimes that typically happen during the monthly tests. Please do not call 911.
- In July, following the 4.6 earthquake in Monroe, Washington Emergency Management Division and national firm Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology released a video of what to do during different scenarios when an earthquake strikes. The video has also been translated into Spanish, Italian and soon in Russian, Arabic and Chinese.
- The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network and Washington Emergency Management Division continue to work on an earthquake early warning system called ShakeAlert. Our goal is for ShakeAlert warning messages to be made available to the public starting in October 2020, via the “built-in” wireless emergency alerting system on cell phones (WEA) and through one or more mobile phone apps. WEA is like Amber Alerts or extreme weather alerts that show up as phone text-like messages. In this case, it could provide a couple seconds warning that an earthquake is coming to protect themselves by doing drop, cover and hold on.
- Earthquake experts from across the West Coast will unite for a Reddit Ask Me Anything – an online Q&A starting at 11 a.m., Oct. 11. Experts with the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, Southern California Earthquake Center, Washington Emergency Management Division, Washington Department of Natural Resources and Oregon Office of Emergency Management will be on hand. The public is invited to ask questions at https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/. A Facebook Live Q&A will also happen at about the same time at https://www.facebook.com/WashEMD/
- We also encourage participants to take photos of themselves participating in the drill and post those photos to social media using the hashtag #ShakeOut or tag our Twitter account at @waShakeOut.
For media interested in covering the Great Washington ShakeOut, the Seattle School District is making Leschi Elementary School at 135 32nd Ave in Seattle available. Media interested in attending, please RSVP with Lead Media Relations Specialist Tim Robinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 465-5404. Parking will be available for news vans and he’ll be on site by 9:30 a.m. An earthquake expert with Washington Emergency Management Division will also be on site for interviews.
Earthquake preparedness experts are also available for interviews in the days before ShakeOut.
Other media outlets across Washington state can customize their coverage and find local residents, businesses and schools participating through a searchable registry on the website: http://shakeout.org/washington/whoisparticipating/
Preparedness tips are available here: https://mil.wa.gov/preparedness
Tips in Spanish: https://www.mil.wa.gov/preparese