Shake Out Day

Shake Out is an international drill that happens each year. Island County participates in various ways each year. Our tsunami sirens will sound with the actual wail, radio operators will be testing their plans, and many people will practice Drop, Cover, Hold.

This year's International ShakeOut Day is October 19, when millions of people worldwide will participate in earthquake drills at work, school, or home!

At 10:19 a.m.  on 10/19, you can join millions of people across the world practicing earthquake safety.

While we encourage participation with everyone, you can register your ShakeOut drill for any day of the year, and drill at a time of your choice. You can also include people in multiple locations through video conferencing.

AHAB (All Hazard Alert Broadcast) or Tsunami Sirens


  • Driftwood Shores - 554 Waterline Loop, Camano Island
  • Dugualla Bay - 715 Bay Front Lane, Oak Harbor
  • Iverson Beach - 105 Iverson Road, Camano Island
  • Keystone - 375 Keystone Ave., Coupeville
  • Lagoon Point - 3598 S Seashore Ave., Greenbank
  • Oak Harbor Marina - 1429-1699 SE Catalina Dr. Oak Harbor
  • West Beach - 2698-2740 W Beach Road, Oak Harbor (AWAITING Final Test)

NOTE: Sirens will only be heard if you are nearby.

What will the actual wail sound like?:

Drop, Cover, and Hold On

Why is it important to do a Drop, Cover, and Hold On drill? To react quickly you must practice often. You may only have seconds to protect yourself in an earthquake, before strong shaking knocks you down--or drops something on you. Practicing helps you be ready to respond.

  • If you are inside a building, move no more than a few steps, then Drop, Cover and Hold On: (Video Here)Person shows drop cover and hold on with table
    • DROP to the ground (before the earthquake drops you!),
    • Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and
    • HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops.
    • Stay indoors till the shaking stops and you are sure it is safe to exit. In most buildings you are safer if you stay where you are until the shaking stops.
  • If you are outdoors when the shaking starts, you should find a clear spot away from buildings, trees, streetlights, and power lines, then Drop, Cover and Hold On. Stay there until the shaking stops.
  • If you are driving, pull over to a clear location, stop and stay there with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking stops. Once the shaking stops, proceed with caution and avoid bridges or ramps that might have been damaged.
  • If you use a cane: DROP, COVER, and HOLD ON or sit on a chair, bed, etc. and cover your head and neck with both hands. Keep your cane near you so it can be used when the shaking stops.
  • If you use a walker or wheelchair: LOCK your wheels (if applicable). If using a walker carefully get as low as possible. Bend over and COVER your head/neck with your arms, a book, or a pillow. Then HOLD ON until the shaking stops.

Drop Cover and Hold video for those with mobility disability

Ground shaking during an earthquake is seldom the cause of injury. Most earthquake-related injuries and deaths are caused by collapsing walls and roofs, flying glass and falling objects. It is extremely important for a person to move as little as possible to reach the place of safety he or she has identified because most injuries occur when people try to move more than a short distance during the shaking.

Look around you now, before an earthquake. Identify safe places such as under a sturdy piece of furniture or against an interior wall in your home, office or school so that when the shaking starts you can respond quickly. An immediate response to move to the safe place can save lives. And that safe place should be within a few steps to avoid injury from flying debris.

Earthquake Safety

Follow these seven steps to earthquake safety:

Prepare before:

Survive and Recover after:

  • Step 5: Drop, Cover, and Hold On or other recommended actions such as Lock (wheels), Cover, and Hold On – if you feel shaking or get an alert.
  • Step 6: Improve safety after earthquakes by evacuating if necessary, helping the injured, and preventing further injuries or damage.

After the immediate threat of the earthquake has passed, your level of preparedness will determine your quality of life in the weeks and months that follow:

  • Step 7: Reconnect and Restore daily life by reuniting with others, repairing damage, and rebuilding community.