Sponsor spotlight: Snohomish County tsunami sirens will sound warning tone for Great Washington ShakeOut on Oct. 21

The Edmonds siren

A new tsunami siren in the city of Edmonds should help boost tsunami preparedness, but there’s more you should do, too, such as investing in a NOAA Alert Weather Radio and researching the tsunami maps in your area. You should also understand what to do in a tsunami – which is always to go to high ground as soon the shaking stops or you receive an alert.

The new siren is located at the Edmonds Olympic Beach Park, 51 West Dayton Street. It sits on a tall pole and has seven stacked, white horizontal disks. You’ll hear it do the Westminster Chimes on the first Monday of every month at noon. However, at 10:21 a.m., Oct. 21, all of our state’s tsunami sirens (including that one) will be tested using the wailing sound of a tsunami warning, not the Westminster Chimes that are used during the monthly tests. Please do not call 911.

This is part of the Great Washington ShakeOut, where millions of people in Washington State will participate in the largest earthquake drill ever.Earthquakes can happen anywhere, so everyone should know how to protect themselves when an earthquake occurs. Coastal earthquakes can be followed by tsunamis – which is why the Great Washington ShakeOut includes a tsunami drill.

The wailing sound will be followed by this message in English and Spanish: “This is a test of the siren alert system. If you are in a low coastal area, test your evacuation route. If this had been a real emergency, you should follow evacuation routes, move to higher ground inland, now. Do not delay. Do not return until directed to do so. Tune into your local media sources for further instructions. This was only a test.”

Find lots more information about the sirens and everything else at https://mil.wa.gov/tsunami.

Know Your Tsunami Warning Signs


Waking up one day and discovering you live in an area prone to tsunamis can be disconcerting. The state of Washington recently teamed with local officials to do inundation maps on where a tsunami might be possible – and Snohomish County does face a tsunami threat. You can see a map of the tsunami inundation zone that would impact Edmonds here.

And the maps clearly show there is a danger in the Edmonds area. Now that you know there might be a tsunami one day, here’s what to do: If you hear the siren wailing sound outside of the Great Washington ShakeOut, immediately follow the closest tsunami evacuation route inland or to high ground. This is your warning that a tsunami is approaching, and you need to evacuate the inundation zone as soon as possible. Study these routes ahead of time. That’s your homework.

If you are on the coast and you feel ground shaking, drop, cover and hold on to protect yourself. When the shaking stops, immediately follow the closest tsunami evacuation route inland or to high ground. Do not wait to hear a tsunami siren or to receive an official tsunami alert – the shaking is your warning that a tsunami may be on its way.

The sirens are NOT meant to be heard inside homes and businesses. You should consider investing in a NOAA Alert Weather Radio. These usually cost between $20 – $50 depending on the type and features.  Here is how we programmed one of the radios to show you how it works.

Develop an emergency kit that can be carried. We call this a Go Bag. That way you can just grab it and go. We have tips to help you at https://mil.wa.gov/kits.

New Tsunami Sirens in Snohomish County

Thanks to funding allocated by the Washington State Legislature and the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program, the Washington Military Department installed 50 new tsunami sirens across the state’s inner and outer coasts from 2020-2021. These sirens filled critical gaps in the current tsunami warning infrastructure to complete the siren network. Snohomish County received three of these new sirens, which were installed in the following locations:

  • Port of Everett Terminal Pier, 2900 Terminal Ave, Everett WA
  • Port of Everett Marina Park, 607 10th Street, Everett WA
  • Edmonds Marina Park, 51 West Dayton Street, Edmonds WA

Be a Part of ShakeOut!

Register at www.ShakeOut.org/Washington to practice and improve your level of earthquake and tsunami safety. Everyone everywhere can participate! Individuals, families, businesses, schools, government agencies, and organizations are all invited to join in at 10:21 am on 10/21. Learn more about Snohomish County’s tsunami hazard, including how to find tsunami maps for your area and to sign up for tsunami alerts, at www.mil.wa.gov/tsunami.

Have more questions? Contact: public.education@mil.wa.gov.

— Sponsored by Washington Emergency Management

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