The Washington Military Department tells KXRO that for the third year in a row, the Great Washington ShakeOut has achieved more than 1 million people registering, although it’s likely many more will also participate.
The annual earthquake drill occurs each year at 10:20 a.m. on Oct. 20. Residents and businesses can register online prior to the event, but that is not a requirement for anyone to practice their drop, cover and hold on skills.
More than 53 million people from across the world will participate this year during ShakeOut, including all of the states and provinces on the West Coast.
“One of the best ways to prepare for an earthquake is to practice.” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “I encourage everyone to be part of this important effort and learn how to stay safe when the Big One hits.”
Officials say that preparedness will be key in surviving the next big earthquake to hit the Pacific Northwest. They recommend that every household be equipped with up to two weeks’ worth of supplies and an emergency “go” kit. For local residents, they say that knowing evacuation routes and the warning signs, including NOAA Weather Radio and coastal sirens could mean the difference in surviving a tsunami.
All regional AHAB Sirens will activate with the actual, full 3 minute siren along with a voice message announcing the test and then again following the siren, and local All Hazard Weather Radios will only activate with the weekly test.
As part of the exercise, Grays Harbor County Emergency Management is asking all government buildings, schools, businesses and private citizens to practice “Drop, Cover and Hold On” procedures.
On Oct. 20, from noon to 2 p.m., earthquake preparedness experts from the Washington Emergency Management Division and FEMA will join scientists with the Washington Department of Natural Resources and the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network to gather online for a Reddit Ask Me Anything – an online Q&A. The public is invited to ask questions at https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/.
ShakeOut participants are also encouraged to take photos of the drill and post those photos to social media using the hashtag #washakeout or tag the Twitter account at @waShakeOut.
For media interested in covering the Great Washington ShakeOut, a number of schools will make themselves available. The ShakeOut begins at 10:20 a.m., Oct. 20.
Ocosta Elementary School has plans to use the drill to test their vertical tsunami evacuation platform built above the school’s gymnasium. After practicing for ShakeOut, all of the school’s children will practice rushing up to the rooftop.
People and organizations can sign up to participate at www.shakeout.org/washington.