Bookmark and Share

Great Washington ShakeOut still happening Oct. 15

The Great Washington ShakeOut will still be happening at 10:15 a.m. on Oct. 15, although it’s likely going to look a little different. Due to COVID-19, work environments continue to adapt and change. Some schools and colleges are still operating completely online. It seems like every day, we are confronting new challenges. All while earthquakes are still happening.

One thing's for sure: We all still need to practice drop, cover and hold on because an earthquake can strike without warning.

As a reminder: On the coast, tsunami sirens will also sound off at 10:15 a.m. on Oct. 15. This is part of the drill. There will also be messages in English, as well as Spanish and Russian in some areas. Please don’t call 911. NOAA Weather Radios will also sound an alarm.

Gov. Jay Inslee has issued a proclamation, encouraging participation in the drill. Millions of people around the world will be practicing their earthquake protection skills. We encourage you to take your event online and use #ShakeOut on social media to share your experience practicing drop, cover and hold on. Use this infographic and video to explore the different ways and places to practice.

“If there is ever a year to be prepared for a disaster, it’s 2020,” Inslee said on Twitter. “Join the Great Washington ShakeOut this Thursday. And make sure you and your family are ready for an earthquake.”

In September, we also launched a new Prepare in a Year guide, which you can use to take one step a month for the next year to get prepared. Did you run out of toilet paper in March? Our guide has tips to help to re-prepare so you make sure you’re two weeks ready for any emergency.

While some ShakeOut drills and other activities may happen as always, there are some new considerations:

  • Where will you all be for your drill? Together, or some at work, school or home? Consider video-conferencing!
  • How will you incorporate COVID-19 health and safety guidelines into your activity?
  • Is it better to have everyone participate all at once, or perhaps in staggered (or even repeated) dates and times?

Registration isn’t required, but helps us keep a count on who is participating. Please register at

For the media, the state Emergency Operations Center located on Camp Murray in Pierce County will make itself available for video. Schools, which have typically been open for ShakeOut, are unavailable this year. Our staff continue to respond to COVID-19 and the wildfires, but will practice drop, cover & hold on for the drill at 10:15 a.m. on Oct. 15. You must RSVP ahead of time to Masks are mandatory and there is a health screening ahead of time.