Countdown to Washington State Disaster Preparedness Month and the ‘Great Shakeout’

the Great Shakeout earthquake drillOctober will be a great opportunity for individuals, schools, businesses and local jurisdictions across the state to get familiar with all-hazard preparedness. Gov. Jay Inslee has designated October as Washington State Disaster Preparedness Month. The goal is to raise awareness of the need for everyone to do all-hazards preparation.

Why ‘all hazards?’ Because Washington State has a wide assortment of potential natural hazards, including major earthquake faults, volcanoes and a coastline vulnerable to tsunamis. And did we mention landslides?

The highlight of the month will be the Great Washington Shakeout “drop, cover and hold on” earthquake drill at 10:17 a.m on October 17. Many businesses, schools, and agencies are taking part. The drill will emphasize the need for everyone to practice what to do to be safe during an earthquake, and how to be ready before an earthquake strikes. In addition, many coastal communities will test their tsunami alert sirens on October 17.

Organizers with the state Military Department’s Emergency Management Division are aiming for one million Washingtonians to participate in the earthquake drill. To date, more than 590,000 have registered, and the number is climbing. Last year, 710,000 people participated. Sign up today and find education information, brochures, and more at

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