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Great Washington ShakeOut slated for Oct. 18, 2018


We’re two weeks away from the Great Washington ShakeOut, part of the nation’s largest earthquake exercise.

Last year, more than 1 million Washington residents signed up to practice their earthquake readiness during the annual earthquake drill, which will be held this year at 10:18 a.m. on Oct. 18. It’s looking like the state will hit at least 1 million registrations again this year.

Many more will likely participate. People and organizations can sign up to participate at Registration isn’t required but helps the state tally how many are participating.

“Practicing drop, cover and hold on skills on a regular basis builds muscle memory so when an earthquake does hit, you’ll know instinctively what to do,” said Robert Ezelle, director of Washington Emergency Management Division. “We also want residents to take a look at your emergency kits. It’s important that you’re two weeks ready, not just for earthquakes, but big storms and power outages.”


Earthquake experts from Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, Washington Emergency Management Division, Washington Department of Natural Resources and FEMA Region X will be on hand for a Reddit Ask Me Anything – an online Q&A starting at 11 a.m., Oct. 11. The public is invited to ask questions at  A Facebook Live Q&A will also happen at about the same time at

For the first time, all of the coastal sirens in Washington state will be tested on Oct. 18 at 10:18 a.m. using the real sound of the siren, not the Westminster Chimes that typically happen during the monthly tests. During previous ShakeOut drills, some jurisdictions had opted out, but all of the sirens will activate now.

We also encourage participants to take photos of themselves participating in the drill and post those photos to social media using the hashtag #ShakeOut or tag our Twitter account at @waShakeOut.

For media interested in covering the Great Washington ShakeOut, the Seattle School District is making John Hay Elementary School, at 201 Garfield Street in Seattle available. Media interested in attending, please RSVP with Seattle Schools Facilities Communications Specialist Thomas Redman at or (253) 740-8844. Redman says parking will be available for news vans and he’ll be on site by 9:30 a.m. Maximilian Dixon, WA EMD earthquake program manager, will also be on site for interviews.  

Earthquake preparedness experts are also available for interviews in the days before ShakeOut.

Other media outlets across Washington state can customize their coverage and find local residents, businesses and schools participating through a searchable registry on the website:

Preparedness tips are available here:

Tips in Spanish:

Proof for our Reddit AMA: