PASCO, WA. - The Washington Emergency Management Division is urging people to participate in this year's Great Shakeout.
The state will activate it's emergency alert system at exactly 10:17 a.m. on Thursday, briefly interrupting television and radio programming with an earthquake drill message.
More than 800,000 people in the state have registered to participate including private businesses, schools and governmental agencies. Nearly 19 million people will participate worldwide.
This is the second year Washington has participated in the Great Shakeout and the drill is simple; just drop, cover and hold on.
"These are fundamental response capabilities that everyone should know," sad Sean Davis, the Franklin County Emergency Management Director. "People travel abroad...a lot of people go to the coastal regions in our state, as well as in Oregon. So, it doesn't just apply to your home base...this applies state-wide."
The last major earthquake to hit Washington state was the Nisqually Earthquake in 2001. The quake was concentrated mostly to the Seattle area, however tremors could be felt as far east as the Tri-Cities.