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WCSO Emergency Management vehicle (August 8, 2016). Photo: My Ferndale News

Earthquake drill will be reason for tsunami sirens Thursday

Neighbors who live near the tsunami alert towers on the Lummi Peninsula (near the casino and near Hales Pass) should not be concerned when the towers’ tsunami sirens are activated tomorrow, Thursday, October 19th, at 10:19am as part of the annual Great ShakeOut event.

Neighbors will hear a voice announcement advising of the test and for people to test their evacuation routes. This will be followed by the siren sound for 90 seconds (not the Westminster Chimes used during monthly tests) and then the voice announcement will be repeated.

The Great ShakeOut is a global initiative set on 10/19 at 1019 each year as a means to instill awareness of what to do in the event of an earthquake. Frequent participants are public institutions (government offices, schools, etc.) and businesses.

Each state organizes their own Great ShakeOut campaigns and drills, including Washington.

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Whatcom County Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) are supporting communities during the Great Shakeout by sending CERT Team Members to pre-identified locations around Whatcom County, including Ferndale, to simulate damage assessment and damage reporting.

NOAA weather radios set to receive the required monthly test will also activate during this exercise.

Other tsunami sirens in Whatcom County are located in Point Roberts, Blaine, Birch Bay and Sandy Point. All except the Sandy Point siren will be activated for the Great ShakeOut.

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  1. suzanne larsen suzanne larsen October 19, 2017

    Why isn’t the Sandy Pt siren going to be activated?

    • Discover Ferndale Discover Ferndale October 19, 2017

      According to the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Division of Emergency Management, they had “opted out of the test.”

      • suzanne larsen suzanne larsen October 19, 2017

        Who would that be, that opted out. Who is in charge of the siren?

      • Discover Ferndale Discover Ferndale October 19, 2017

        Going beyond the Div of Emergency Mgt’s press release, it was determined Whatcom County Fire District 17 made that decision. According to Fire Chief Jim Petrie, there was not sufficient time to adequately notify Sandy Point neighbors before the event. “The last thing we want is for someone to panic, or worse, get hurt as a result of the siren going off during an exercise,” Petrie said.

        Petrie said the exercise is a good idea and he hopes Sandy Point will participate in the future.

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