It’s only a drill.
Sirens will wail for a full three minutes in coastal communities at 10:17 a.m. today.
People all over the North Olympic Peninsula and the rest of the state are asked to “drop, cover and hold on.”
It’s part of the Great Washington ShakeOut earthquake drill.
“You will hear the actual three minutes of the actual warning tones that would sound for real event activations,” said Jamye Wisecup, program coordinator Clallam County Emergency Management, in an email.
In Clallam County, All Hazard Alert Broadcast System warning sirens will sound at Diamond Point, Dungeness Fire Station, Four Seasons Ranch, Marine Drive in Port Angeles, Lower Elwha Klallam Community Center, Clallam Bay, the Quileute A-Ka-Lat center and at two sites in Neah Bay.
In East Jefferson County, three sirens are stationed in the Port Townsend area: at Fort Worden State Park, the Boat Haven and Point Hudson.
In West Jefferson, the siren will sound on the Hoh Reservation.
None will sound like a test.
“Unlike the normal test message, the full alert message and wail of the siren will be heard from all sirens,” said Bob Hamlin, Jefferson County Department of Emergency Management director, in an email.
Sirens also will sound in Grays Harbor and Pacific counties.
Emergency managers urge people who hear the siren to practice ways to protect themselves during an earthquake.
“In the event of an earthquake, drop to the ground, take cover under a sturdy desk or table and hold on until the shaking stops,” Hamlin said.
Wisecup said 17 million people from around the world will participate in the ShakeOut in different ways, adding that so far, 7,989 Clallam County residents had registered to participate.
“You can also register yourself, your family and/or your business at www.shakeout.org/washington to be a part of the largest earthquake exercise to date,” she said, adding that information about preparedness and recovery actions in the event of a quake are also on the site.
“Your personal preparations will be one of the most important factors that determine your survivability,” Wisecup said.
“The Great ShakeOut drill will boost public awareness of the state’s earthquake and tsunami hazards while demonstrating the importance of emergency preparedness for families, schools and businesses across Washington,” she added.
Many area agencies and schools will practice “Drop, Cover and Hold On,” some followed by an evacuation drill, Wisecup said.
For instance, staff at public libraries in Port Angeles, Sequim, Forks and Clallam Bay will lead a drill when the sirens sound.
Disaster-preparedness materials specific to Clallam County also will be available at North Olympic Library System facilities.
The ShakeOut drill originated in California in 2008. The annual drill is now a worldwide event, with most participants performing the drill on the same day at the same time.
Gov. Jay Inslee has proclaimed October as Washington State Disaster Preparedness Month and NOAA Weather Radio Awareness Month.
For more information about activities for emergency preparedness and NOAA weather radios, visit http://tinyurl.com/pdn-preparedness.
More information about the nationwide drill can be found at www.shakeout.org.
For Jefferson County information, visit www.jeffcoeoc.org.In Clallam County, visit http://tinyurl.com/pdn-clallamemergency or phone Wisecup at 360-417-2525 or Penny Linterman, program coordinator, at 360-417-2483.