Reminder: Tsunami siren drill to take place in Edmonds Oct. 21

Workers installed the Edmonds tsunami warning siren in June. While it has been regularly tested, Thursday’s Great Washington Shakeout will be its first time as part of a coordinated statewide drill. (Photo by Larry Vogel)

Edmonds residents and visitors are reminded that there will be a tsunami siren drill set for Thursday, Oct. 21. The drill is scheduled to occur between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and will last approximately 15 minutes.

The tsunami system is tested once each year, with the actual tsunami warning wail sound played in conjunction with the Great Washington ShakeOut earthquake and tsunami drill. The siren will be followed by an audio message in English and Spanish with instructions to move to higher ground. The message will indicate this is a test.

To hear a recording of the tsunami siren, click here. The new siren system, called an All Hazard Alert Broadcast (AHAB), was installed near the Edmonds waterfront in June 2021. (You can learn more in a related My Edmonds News story here.)

The Edmonds siren system is also regularly tested on the first Monday of every month at noon. The sirens play the Westminster Chimes followed by an audio message in English and Spanish.

The Great Washington ShakeOut is part of international shakeout events focused on earthquake preparedness that take place each year on the third Thursday of October around the world. To learn more about various activities and ways to participate individually, visit The Great Washington ShakeOut – Get Ready!.

  1. At the end of the May 5, 2020 City Council discussion of newly adopted Edmonds City Code Chapter 6.60, Councilmember Susan Paine stated that August (2020) would be an opportune time if it is available to “meet” the new CEMP as the Emergency Management Policy.

    CEMP stands for Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan. Our CEMP was adopted April 18, 2017 via Resolution 1386. Resolution 1386 states that Washington State law requires the CEMP to be reviewed and updated at least once every two calendar years.

    Despite this, Edmonds City Officials have not updated our CEMP since April of 2017.

    Discussion of Chapter 6.60 showed up on the September 15, 2020 City Council Agenda. I pointed out the poor quality of the draft of City Code Chapter 6.60 that had been prepared for Council review. It was immediately voted off the agenda after Mayor Nelson advised Agenda Item 9.1, Council Discussion of City Code Chapter 6.60, was not ready for Council review and recommended it be removed from the agenda.

    Discussion of City Code Chapter 6.60 vanished into thin air – and the topic remains a big mystery.

    I spoke at the June 3, 2021 meeting of the Washington State Emergency Management Council (EMC). The EMC advises the Governor and the Director of the Washington Military Department on all matters pertaining to state and local emergency management. I informed the EMC that I was concerned Edmonds did not have a functional emergency management plan. I asked the EMC to take steps as soon as possible to make sure citizens of Edmonds are protected by a functional CEMP.

    I haven’t heard a word from the EMC since. EMC has yet to display their June 3, 2021 meeting minutes or post Agendas for meetings scheduled for August 5, 2021 and October 7, 2021.

    The Tsunami siren drill today is another reminder that citizens of Edmonds have no way of knowing when City Code Chapter 6.60 will be fixed, when the new CEMP will be presented to Council for approval or whether we even have a functional emergency plan.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Real first and last names — as well as city of residence — are required for all commenters.
This is so we can verify your identity before approving your comment.

By commenting here you agree to abide by our Code of Conduct. Please read our code at the bottom of this page before commenting.