UW News

October 28, 2021

Video: Great ShakeOut drill tests new earthquake early warning system

At 10:21 a.m. on Oct. 21, teacher Wade Johnson’s science class at Port Susan Middle School scrambled under their desks as part of the annual Great ShakeOut. It was Stanwood Camano School District’s first live test of its earthquake early warning system with all 13 of its schools participating in a “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” drill. The exercise was triggered by a simulated activation of the school’s earthquake early warning system, which would automatically be activated by an actual seismic event.

The school district deployed the first earthquake early warning system in 2019 at Stanwood Elementary, the first school in Washington state to connect to the system. Since then the district has added all 13 of its schools to the automated earthquake early warning system, which went live throughout Washington state in May 2021.

If seismic stations detect a significant earthquake, emergency alerts and automated smartphone messages go out to people in any affected parts of Washington, Oregon and California. The appropriate response is to do what the students did — drop, cover and hold on.

Read more: https://environment.uw.edu/news/2021/10/shakealert-helps-students-learn-to-drop-cover-and-hold-on/