Statewide earthquake drill scheduled for this morning

By Emily Gillespie, Columbian breaking news reporter

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Everyone is encouraged to drop, cover and hold on during a statewide emergency earthquake drill scheduled for this morning at 10:17 a.m.

The Great Washington ShakeOut drill, which includes a test of the state’s emergency alert system, is intended to get people to practice what to do to be safe during an earthquake and tsunami.

The activity encourages schools, businesses, organizations and community members to be prepared for a natural disaster.

The National Tsunami Warning Center and the National Weather Service offices in Seattle and Portland will conduct a communications drill over NWS weather radio and Pacific Coast communities will test their tsunami warning sirens.

This is the second year of the drill and it is anticipated to be the state’s largest earthquake drill, with more than 866,000 expected participants. To be included in the state’s final count, register at www.shakeout.org/washington.