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Practice for earthquakes on Oct. 19 during the Great Washington ShakeOut

Media Contact: Steven Friederich, Public Information Officer for Washington Emergency Management Division at or (253) 344-0253

The Great Washington ShakeOut is set for Oct. 19 and includes a tsunami siren test. There may also be evacuation drills in some schools.

Earthquake experts will also field public questions about seismic activity, including our most recent 4.3 earthquake in the Puget Sound area, during an online Q&A this Thursday, Oct. 12.

At 10:19 a.m. on Oct. 19, you’re invited to drop, cover and hold on wherever you are – whether it’s at work, home or school. At about the same time, more than 120 Washington tsunami sirens along the inner and outer coast will be tested using the real wailing sound of a tsunami warning, not the Westminster Chimes that are typically used during the monthly tests. NOAA Weather Radios will also sound an alarm.


During ShakeOut at 10:19 a.m. on 10/19 we encourage people to drop, cover and hold on wherever they are – work, home, school, walking in park or at a shopping mall. Practicing builds muscle memory for when the real earthquake comes.

For the second time, a test will go out to those who have downloaded the FREE MyShake Earthquake Early Warning App on their phones. The test alert will sound the tone it will use to warn of an earthquake and will display a message indicating that this is a “test.” No action is required, but it is recommended that you drop, cover, and hold on to practice what would be done during an earthquake. To participate in the test, make sure to have the app downloaded to the latest software and open it at least once prior to Oct. 19. The MyShake App is powered by the USGS ShakeAlert™ Earthquake Early Warning system and can provide a few seconds of warning before an actual earthquake hits. There will NOT be a test using Android’s built-in earthquake alerts or the Wireless Emergency Alert system (like what we experienced on Oct. 3).

Earthquake Early Warning is a relatively new technology in Washington state available to the public for about two and a half years now. To find links to download the app and the three ways to get earthquake alerts on your phone in Washington, visit If you don’t have the MyShake App you can still practice your great ShakeOut Drill simulating seconds of warning with a drill recording available here.

More than 1.2 million Washington residents have registered to participate in the earthquake and tsunami drill so far. Registration isn’t required but it helps us with understanding how effective our outreach is. It’s also free and easy to register at


At 11 a.m., Oct. 12, the Washington Emergency Management Division will team with scientists and other preparedness experts for an Ask Me Anything event on Reddit. Joining us will be Washington Geological Survey, Pacific Northwest Seismic Network and an engineer with Simpson Strong-Tie.

At 10 a.m. on Oct. 19, the Washington Emergency Management Division will field your earthquake-related questions on our Facebook page as we prep for ShakeOut Day ourselves from the policy room of our state Emergency Operations Center. If you have a question you want us to talk about and can’t make it, feel free to email us at

On the morning of Oct. 19, media is invited to take video and pictures at Daniel Bagley Elementary School, 7821 Stone Ave N., Seattle, WA. Members of the media MUST RSVP to the school district media team at Meet at the main entrance on Stone Ave. N. at 9:30 a.m. The drill is set for 10:19 a.m.

At 10 a.m., on Oct. 19, the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe will team with the Washington Emergency Management Division for an event at the new vertical evacuation tower, 2373 Tokeland Road, Tokeland, WA. If you're in the area, learn about the tower and practice walking to the top. For more information, email us at

Locate a local school, business or agency participating using this searchable database.