Great Shakeout set for Oct. 17


The annual Great Shakeout earthquake drill will be held Thursday, Oct. 17, starting at 10:17 a.m.

Expect all AHAB sirens to activate with a full, three-minute warning siren followed by a voice message announcing the test.

As part of the exercise Grays Harbor County Emergency Management asks all government buildings, schools, businesses and citizens to participate in:

— Practicing “Drop, Cover and Hold On” procedures (available at dropcoverholdon.org)

— Evacuating their building school or home to a predetermined safe area and account for all staff, students, family and pets

Emergency Management recommends a process should be in place to account for staff, students or family members not at the location — a text, phone call, etc. Also consider who to contact should you find anyone is not accounted for.

The exercise should take no longer than 15-20 minutes and is intended to provide awareness to all citizens on how to best protect themselves in the event of an earthquake.

In the event of an earthquake occurring anywhere in Grays Harbor County, there may be a possibility of aftershocks.

All Hazard Weather Radios will only activate with the required weekly test at 10:17 a.m., but some weather radios will not activate because they do not receive weekly test messages.

If you aren’t sure whether your radio is functioning properly, push the radio button. You should hear the 24 hour weather forecast message. If you do not hear a voice transmission, you may need to reconfigure the radio or move it to another area.

Notification of whether a tsunami has been generated or not may take up to 10-15 minutes following the shaking of an earthquake. Your initial actions should be to “Drop, Cover and Hold On,” followed by moving to high ground without hesitation when the shaking stops. Once on high ground, personnel accountability should take place.

In a true event, do not leave the safe haven until told to do so by local authorities. A tsunami event is a series of large, devastating waves and the initial wave may not be the largest. The event could last as long as 24 hours.