WHATCOM — Over 1.3 million Washington residents signed up in previous years to practice their earthquake readiness in the Great Washington ShakeOut drill. 

“Preparing Whatcom County, the citizens and our communities for earthquakes, and the possible expected tsunamis that may follow, are one of the highest priorities for the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Division of Emergency Management,” said Sheriff Bill Elfo.

At 10:15 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, residents are encouraged to drop, cover and hold on whether at home, business or even in a park, as if a real earthquake were occurring. Drop to the ground, cover your head and neck or go under a desk or sturdy table and hold on. 

All coastal tsunami sirens in Whatcom County (and the state) will be activated at 10:15 a.m. Oct. 15 using the real wailing sound of the siren for approximately two minutes, not the Westminster Chimes used during the regular monthly tests. Please do not call 911.

Whatcom County has sirens in Blaine, Birch Bay, the Lummi Nation, Point Roberts, Sandy Point and the Port of Bellingham.

Whatcom County has been approved for three additional sirens in Blaine, the Lummi Nation and Fairhaven.

Funding was provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Washington State Military Department and Phillips 66 Ferndale Refinery.