The Great Shakeout Earthquake Exercise is underway today in Washington state and across the nation. At 10:19 am, on 10/19 (today) earthquake exercises will be conducted at businesses and schools across the United States.

Locally, at 10:19 this morning expect to hear the All Hazard Alert Broadcast sirens full 3-minute sirens, sounding like a slowly passing ambulance.

      AHAB Siren

Those sirens are meant to be heard within a mile radius depending on weather conditions. If you are indoors, you might hear a Weather Radio activating this morning with the weekly test. – although not all weather radios run that test.

Chuck Wallace with the Grays Harbor County Emergency Management said they are asking all government buildings, schools, businesses and private citizens to Practice their “Drop, Cover and Hold On” procedures.

Many businesses have registered at shakeout.org to conduct exercises like evacuating and assembling at a safe area, accounting for staff and reviewing contact information.

Whether you plan to plan for the weather or not, please remember that many other Washington residents are taking part in exercises throughout the day today. Students and employees may practice evacuation routes, others might be seen assembling at recovery areas, please be cautious while driving near evacuation routes.

Residents are encouraged to discuss disaster preparedness with your family over the weekend so everyone knows what to expect in an emergency.

As the state joins the nation in exercising earthquake readiness today, Western Washington residents should also practice tsunami preparedness and awareness.

Remember that a local earthquake lasting more than a few minutes is your warning to run to higher ground once it is safe. Do not drive. You will not have time for a full evacuation from a local event, run to higher ground and help others.

A tsunami somewhere else in the Pacific Ocean will have warning time and is most likely when you would hear the AHAB sirens. A quick evacuation to higher ground should still be your goal, but you will have more time and more information.