Washington State to Hold Statewide Earthquake Drill April 22

April is Disaster Preparedness month in Washington State, highlighted by a statewide earthquake drill on April 22. The drill will be initiated through an Emergency Alert System message on broadcast media between 9:45 a.m. and 10 a.m. that day. The focus throughout the month is for government agencies, businesses, schools, and citizens to review response plans and procedures that could significantly reduce the loss of life and property damage in an emergency, say state officials.

"I encourage all citizens to increase their knowledge and awareness of proper safety measures to follow before, during, and after a natural or man-made disaster," said Gov. Chris Gregoire, adding that the state remains "vulnerable to natural and man-made disasters in the future." State residents especially "should prepare themselves to be self-sufficient for at least three days following a natural or man-made disaster," he said.

The Washington Emergency Management Division will make available to local jurisdictions "drop, cover, and hold" bookmarks as well as litter bags with earthquake, tsunami, and volcano information. Flyers on the drop, cover, and hold exercise will be posted in multiple languages on the division's Web site, www.emd.wa.gov. For more information about Disaster Preparedness Month, contact Rosanne Garrand, EMD public education program coordinator, at (253) 512-7419.

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