At 10:21am on October 21, 2021, Pacific County will participate in the largest earthquake drill ever: ShakeOut! Earthquakes can happen anywhere, so everyone should know how to protect themselves when an earthquake occurs. Coastal earthquakes can be followed by tsunamis – which is why the Great Washington ShakeOut includes a tsunami drill.
Washington’s network of All Hazard Alert Broadcast (AHAB) sirens will be tested around 10:21 am on October 21 using the wailing sound of a tsunami warning, not the Westminster Chimes that are used during the monthly tests. PLEASE DO NOT CALL 911.
The wailing sound will be followed by this message in English and Spanish: “This is a test of the siren alert system. If you are in a low coastal area, test your evacuation route. If this had been a real emergency, you should follow evacuation routes, move to higher ground inland, now. Do not delay. Do not return until directed to do so. Tune into your local media sources for further instructions. This was only a test.”
If you are on the coast and you feel ground shaking, drop, cover, and hold on to protect yourself. When the shaking stops, immediately follow the closest tsunami evacuation route inland or to high ground. Do not wait to hear a tsunami siren or to receive an official tsunami alert – the shaking is your warning that a tsunami may be on its way.
On October 20, Pacific County will also be conducting a test of the Hyper-Reach Emergency Notification System. This test will remind people of the siren activation as part of the Great ShakeOut. The Hyper-Reach test will not be repeated on October 21st.
Thanks to funding allocated by the Washington State Legislature in 2020, three new AHAB sirens have been installed in Pacific County. One under the cell tower located near Cranberry Road and SR 103, one at the Pott of Ilwaco, and one located just off SR 103 at 145th. This completes the AHAB Siren Network in Pacific County.
Register at www.ShakeOut.org/Washington to practice and improve your level of earthquake and tsunami safety. Everyone everywhere can participate! Individuals, families, businesses, schools, government agencies, and organizations are all invited to join in at 10:15 am on 10/15. Learn more about Washington’s tsunami hazard at www.mil.wa.gov/tsunamis.