The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Sirens to sound in Pacific County's Great ShakeOut


October 8, 2020

At 10:15 a.m. on October 15, 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," said Scott McDougal, director of Pacific County Emergency Services in a recent announcement.

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 10:15 a.m. on October 15 using the wailing sound of a tsunami warning, not the Westminster Chimes that are used during the monthly tests. People hearing the sirens are asked to not call the county 9-1-1 center.

The wailing sound will be followed by a 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," the announcement said. "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 the warning that a tsunami may be on its way."

On Ocober 14, the county will conduct a test of the Hyper-Reach Emergency Notification System. This test will remind people of the siren activation as part of the Great ShakeOut.

"Thanks to funding allocated by the Washington State Legislature for 2020, two new AHAB sirens will be installed in Pacific County by the end of October," McDougal said. "One will be under the cell tower located near 123rd and SR 103. The other will be located just off SR 103 at 145th.

McDougal urges people to register at to practice and improve their 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 a.m. on 10/15. One can learn more about Washington’s tsunami hazard at


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