Earthquake drill set for Oct. 18 will involve entire West Coast

Wednesday, September 5, 2012
By Paul Martin

By Paul Suarez
Columbian.com
Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Practice makes perfect.

That’s why more than 300,000 Washington residents with join others up and down the West Coast at 10:18 a.m. on Oct. 18 to take part in the Great Shakeout earthquake drill.

John D. Schelling, earthquake and tsunami program manager for the Washington Emergency Division of the Washington Military Department, said the program started in Southern California in 2008. It has spread worldwide, but this will be the first year that Washington state is participating.

“For the first time you have Alaska all the way down to California participating in drop, cover and hold activities,” Schelling said. People can participate anytime within two weeks before and after the date, but “the most important thing is, they just practice.”

Cindy Stanley, emergency management coordinator with the Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency, agrees.

“Creating muscle memory is still very important,” she said. That way, when an earthquake hits, you know to drop down and cover your head until the shaking stops.

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