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While our local Tsunami Warning Communications Test has been canceled this year due to the ongoing disaster in Mendocino, Lake and Sonoma Counties, the “Great California ShakeOut” will still take place this week, and you are invited to join in.
Held annually on the third Thursday of October, the ShakeOut International Day of Action is set for Thursday, Oct. 19 at 10:19 a.m. Register to participate at shakeout.org. During the self-led drill, participants practice how to “Drop, Cover, and Hold On”. Endorsed by emergency officials and first responders, the safe response to an earthquake is to:
DROP where you are, onto your hands and knees. This position protects you from being knocked down and also allows you to stay low and crawl to shelter if nearby.
COVER your head and neck with one arm and hand
If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath it for shelter
If no shelter is nearby, crawl next to an interior wall (away from windows)
Stay on your knees; bend over to protect vital organs
HOLD ON until shaking stops
Under shelter: hold on to it with one hand; be ready to move with your shelter if it shifts
No shelter: hold on to your head and neck with both arms and hands.
The January 2010 M6.5 Humboldt County earthquake and M6.0 August 2014 South Napa earthquake serve as reminders that large earthquakes can occur with little to no warning. Citizens of the North Coast are not immune to earthquakes—the region is home to several active seismic zones capable of producing damaging earthquakes, including the Cascadia Subduction Zone.
The Board of Supervisors today proclaimed this week as Earthquake and Tsunami Preparedness week, and ShakeOut is one of several ways you can participate in becoming better prepared for disasters. The National Weather Service in Eureka is holding an open house on Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm at its station on Woodley Island, where it will have disaster information and tours every 30 minutes with hands-on experiments for kids. You can also sign up for the Humboldt County Office of Emergency Service’s emergency alerts and bookmark the tsunami evacuation zone web app.
A Tsunami Warning Communications Test involving Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino was previously scheduled to coincide with the ShakeOut. This exercise normally includes a live code test, which means activating the Emergency Alert System warning messages on radio, TV and NOAA weather radio. In addition, tsunami sirens are activated and tested, and planes fly the coastline. However due to the ongoing disaster in Mendocino, Lake and Sonoma counties, the event was cancelled.