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October 14, 2020

Skagit County to participate in ‘Great Washington Shake Out,’ test Tsunami Sirens as part of Flood Awareness Week.

Tomorrow, October 15, Skagit County will participate in the ‘The Great Washington Shake Out,’ a statewide event that encourages Washingtonians to practice their earthquake safety each year. Nearly 700,000 participants have registered online. To register and learn how to participate as an individual/family, business, school or other agency, visit www.shakeout.org/washington.

As part of the Great Shake Out, Skagit County will be testing its tsunami sirens as 10:15 a.m. on October 15. Sirens are expected to sound for around 3 minutes and play the following message in English and Spanish:

This is a test of the AHAB system. If you are in a low costal 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 radio station for further instruction. This was only a test.

Tsunamis are long, high sea waves caused by ground disturbances underwater in the ocean. Low lying, nearshore areas in parts of Skagit County are at risk for flooding caused by a tsunami. Interactive maps showing which parts of Skagit County would be most impacted are available through the Washington Geological Service. You can view them here: https://www.dnr.wa.gov/programs-and-services/geology/geologic-hazards/Tsunamis#tsunami-simulation-videos

“Here in Skagit, we’re used to planning and preparing for the typical river flood, but tsunamis are a kind of flood event that the average person doesn’t think as much about,” said Hans Kahl, Emergency Management Specialist with the Skagit County Department of Emergency Management. “We’re happy to be able to include a tsunami siren test, and earthquake drills as part of this year’s flood week. Getting people prepared for all kinds of flooding and natural disasters is our goal.”

Tsunami sirens in Skagit are located at Bow Fire Station, Skyline Marina in Anacortes and the Anacortes Wastewater treatment plant. Sirens will be heard starting at 10:15 a.m. on October 15 for around 3 minutes. Sirens can be heard as far as one mile away.

If you have questions, or need additional information, call Skagit Department of Emergency Management at 360-416-1850. Residents can also sign up for emergency and drill alerts through CodeRED at www.skagit911.us