Great ShakeOut includes tests on the MyShake app, tsunami sirens

The Great Washington ShakeOut is scheduled for October 20 and will feature a test using the MyShake Earthquake Early Warning app.

At 10:20 a.m. on October 20, you are invited to drop, cover and stand wherever you are, whether at work, home or school.

Around the same time, more than 120 Washington tsunami sirens along the Inner and Outer Coast will be tested using the actual sound of a tsunami warning’s whines, not the Westminster chimes that are typically used during monthly tests. NOAA weather radios will also sound an alarm.


For the first time, a test will be sent to those who have downloaded the free MyShake Earthquake Early Warning app to their phones.

The test alert should include an audio test notifying users that this is a system test and no action is required.

The MyShake app is powered by the USGS ShakeAlert™ Earthquake Early Warning System and can provide seconds of warning before an earthquake occurs. There will be NO testing of the wireless emergency alert system or Android’s built-in earthquake alerts.

Earthquake Early Warning is a relatively new technology in Washington State, available to the public for about a year and a half.

To find links to download the app and the three ways to get earthquake alerts on your phone in Washington, visit

If you don’t have the MyShake app, you can still practice your great ShakeOut Drill by simulating warning seconds with a drill record available here.

Registration is not required, but it helps to understand the effectiveness of the application and State Department outreach.

Anyone can register at

During ShakeOut at 10:20 a.m. on 10/20, we’re encouraging people to drop in, cover up, and stand up wherever they are – at work, home, school, walking in a park or in a mall. The practice strengthens muscle memory for when the real earthquake will occur. If October 20 is not convenient for you, you can participate at a time that suits you better – it is very important that you practice.

During the event, use #ShakeOut on social media to join many others across the country by posting photos of themselves under desks or using proper earthquake protection techniques. You can also tag our Twitter account at @waShakeOut.

The exercise only takes about five minutes, but you and your family are encouraged to take additional steps such as developing a communications plan, making out-of-state contact, or storing water jugs – prepare at least one gallon of water per person per day. . Every step you take to prepare helps make Washington more resilient in the face of a disaster and will ensure that even an event as huge as an earthquake will have less impact on you and your family.

If you’re on the coast, consider following your evacuation route on foot – or at least figure out where you’d need to go to evacuate. You can find maps and how sirens work at

If you hear the whine of the siren at any time other than October 20, immediately follow the nearest tsunami evacuation route inland or to higher ground. This is your warning that a tsunami is approaching and that you must evacuate the flood zone as soon as possible. If you’re on the coast and you feel the ground shaking, duck, cover up, and hang on for protection. When the shaking stops, immediately follow the nearest escape route inland or to higher ground. Don’t wait to hear a tsunami siren or receive an official tsunami warning – the jolt is your warning that a tsunami could be on its way.


At 6 p.m. on October 12, scientists and earthquake preparedness experts will “live tweet” while watching the 2015 film San Andreas. They’ll talk about what’s good about the film when it comes to prep – and what’s wrong. And hopefully they don’t make a sequel to the Cascadia subduction zone. Follow #ShakeOut on Twitter and follow @waShakeOut.

At noon on October 13, the Washington Emergency Management Division will talk about preparedness, tsunami sirens and answer your questions about our facebook page. If you have a question that you would like us to discuss and are unable to, please feel free to email us at [email protected].

At 11 a.m. on October 19, the Washington Division of Emergency Management will team up with scientists and other experts in preparation for an Ask Me Anything event on Reddit.

At 10 a.m. on October 20, the Washington Division of Emergency Management will answer your earthquake-related questions at our facebook page as we prepare ourselves for ShakeOut Day at our state emergency operations center. If you have a question that you would like us to discuss and are unable to, please feel free to email us at [email protected].

At 10:20 a.m., October 20, the Shoalwater Indian Tribe will team up with the Washington Emergency Management Division for an event at the new Vertical Escape Tower, 2373 Tokeland Road, Tokeland, WA. If you’re in the area, find out about the tower and practice walking to the top. For more information, write to us at [email protected].

About Stuart M. McFarland

Check Also

The patient app helps make decisions about anticoagulants: ENHANCE-AF

The use of a new “shared decision-making tool” resulted in a higher rate of patient …