At 10:17 a.m. Thursday, a horrible quake will happen — wait ... it’s only a drill!

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At 10:17 a.m. Thursday, warning sirens will blare for a full three minutes, and people all over the North Olympic Peninsula and the rest of the state are asked to “drop, cover and hold on.”

It’s all part of the Great Washington ShakeOut earthquake drill.

The state is participating along with several others, including Oregon, Idaho and California.

Tsunami warning sirens will blast in Port Townsend, LaPush, Neah Bay, Clallam Bay, Lower Elwha, West Port Angeles, Dungeness and Diamond Point.

“The sirens will be activated for a full three minutes,” said Bob Hamlin, Jefferson County Department of Emergency Management director.

“Unlike the normal test message, the full alert message and wail of the siren will be heard from all sirens in Jefferson County” and Clallam County.

Sirens also will sound in Grays Harbor and Pacific counties.

At the same time, people are urged to practice ways to protect themselves during an earthquake.

“In the event of an earthquake, drop to the ground, take cover under a sturdy desk or table and hold on until the shaking stops,” Hamlin said in a statement.

Staff will lead the drill in public libraries in Port Angeles, Sequim, Forks and Clallam Bay.

Disaster-preparedness materials specific to Clallam County also will be available at North Olympic Library System facilities.

The ShakeOut drill originated in California in 2008. The annual drill is now a worldwide event, with most participants performing the drill on the same day at the same time.

Gov. Jay Inslee has proclaimed October as Washington State Disaster Preparedness Month and NOAA Weather Radio Awareness Month.

For more information about activities for emergency preparedness and NOAA weather radios, visit

More information about the nationwide drill can be found at

For Jefferson County information, visit In Clallam County, visit

Last modified: October 14. 2013 6:37PM
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