Drop, Cover, and Hold On, During Great Shakeout Earthquake Exercise Today

The Great Shakeout Earthquake Exercise Is at 10:20 a.m. this morning. In coastal communities, you will hear the tsunami siren preceded and followed by a drill message. Some local schools and businesses may also practice evacuations or earthquake drills.

Deputy Director Chuck Wallace says the Grays Harbor County Emergency Management Agency is urging residents to practice, or consider, their Drop, Cover, and Hold On procedures in the event of a real quake. Wallace said the county’s greatest risk is a Cascadia Earthquake event or large inland earthquake.

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:

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Know What to Do When the Shaking Begins


  • DROP, COVER, AND HOLD ON! Move only a few steps to a nearby safe place. Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you’re sure it’s safe to exit. Stay away from windows. In a high-rise building, expect

fire alarms and sprinklers to go off during a quake.

  • If you are in bed, hold on and stay there, protecting your head with a pillow.
  • If you are outdoors, find a clear spot away from buildings, trees, and power lines. Drop to the ground.
  • If you are in a car, slow down and drive to a clear place (as described above). Stay in the car until the shaking stops.


Identify What to Do After the Shaking Stops

  • Check yourself for injuries. Protect yourself from further danger by putting on long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, sturdy shoes, and work gloves.
  • Check others for injuries. Give first aid for serious injuries.
  • Look for and extinguish small fires. Eliminate fire hazards. Turn off the gas if you smell gas or think it’s leaking. (Remember, only a professional should turn it back on.)
  • Listen to the radio for instructions.
  • Expect aftershocks. Each time you feel one, DROP, COVER, AND HOLD ON!
  • Inspect your home for damage. Get everyone out if your home is unsafe.
  • Use the telephone only to report life-threatening emergencies.
  • Then evacuate their building, school or home to a predetermined safe area and account for all staff, students and family.
  • A process should be in place to account for any staff, student or family member not on location with you– text, phone call etc.
  • Consider who to contact should you find anyone is NOT accounted for.
  • Since most families are NOT together for this event, please consider discussing your family disaster plans over the weekend so all family members are fully aware what is expected from each person.

If the shaking lasted longer than a couple of minutes, you should evacuate to higher ground as soon as you can safely do so.

The exercise should take no longer than 20 minutes to complete and is to provide awareness to all citizens, enabling them to best protect themselves, their staff, students and family members during an earthquake event.

All 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.

The All Hazard Weather Radios will only activate with the required weekly test at 10:20am and only in coastal communities such as Grays Harbor County and Pacific County. Some weather radios will not activate because they do not receive weekly test messages.

If you are not sure whether your All Hazard Weather 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.