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October: Disaster Preparedness & NOAA Weather Radio Month

Camp Murray, Wash. – Gov. Jay Inslee has proclaimed October as Washington State Disaster Preparedness Month and NOAA Weather Radio Awareness Month.   

Local jurisdictions, individuals and businesses across the state will promote all-hazard preparedness throughout the month. The highlight of the month is the Great Washington ShakeOut “drop, cover and hold” earthquake drill on Oct. 16 at 10:16 a.m. The drill will emphasize the urgent need for people, organizations, schools, communities and businesses to practice what to do to be safe and to be ready before an earthquake strikes. In addition, coastal communities will test their tsunami alert sirens at the same date and time.  

“Washington is vulnerable to a variety of hazards, but one of the greatest is earthquakes,” said Inslee.  “By participating in the Great Washington ShakeOut and taking steps to prepare for an earthquake, people also improve their preparedness for other hazards that pose significant threats, such as tsunamis, floods, severe winter storms, and acts of terror.”  

Organizers with the Military Department’s Emergency Management Division are shooting for 1 million Washingtonians to participate in the drill. To date, nearly 800,000 have registered. Last year, more than 870,000 people participated. People and organizations can sign up to participate at  

This is the third year for Washington State to participate in the Great ShakeOut initiative.  Individuals, families, and public, private and non-profit organizations in the following areas will run an earthquake drill on the same date and time (in their respective time zones): 38 states; the District of Columbia; territories of Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, US Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands; and the Provinces of British Columbia and Quebec, and the Yukon Territory in Canada.  Participants in the state of Utah, and Italy, Japan, and New Zealand will conduct earthquake drills related to the initiative on other dates.  

The governor also proclaimed October as National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio month. The governor’s proclamation notes NOAA Weather Radio provides emergency alerts about approaching hazards, and is a perfect compliment to other information sources during times of peril.    

In addition, the governor notes a related emergency preparedness campaign called Take Winter By Storm, also kicks off in October.  It highlights preparedness specifically for winter storms.