Jefferson County ShakeOut Drill Generates Radio Waves

Barney Burke broadcasts remotely from the EOC for the Great ShakeOutOn October 19 at 10:19am millions of people all over the world took a step toward preparation for disaster. As part of the 2017 Great ShakeOut participants took a moment to consider what they should do if an earthquake shook their world. In Jefferson County many were making use of their radios.

It isn’t unusual for local KPTZ radio DJ, Barney Burke, to be on the air. Today, though, he was out of the studio and broadcasting remotely from the Jefferson County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Port Hadlock. The station and radio community feel strongly that preparing for emergencies is essential and have worked with the Department of Emergency Management (DEM) to ensure we can get important information on the air directly from the EOC in the event of a disaster. Together with KROH, the two stations have been preparing their listeners for the drill for weeks and pointing out how folks can be more ready if an earthquake or tsunami really hits.

Dick Ilman mans the radios for the Great ShakeOutProfessional radio personalities weren’t the only county residents on the air. Everyday people from Cape George to Kala Point, from North Beach to Port Ludlow were on their FRS and Ham radios trading messages and code words. This exercise, spearheaded locally by Dan Moreillon and supported by Dick Illman, organized regular people with Family Radio Service (FRS), aka walkie talkies. This drill helped all get familiar with their radios. Participants experienced how FRS might be useful if other communications went down. The drill was a huge success with over 80 participants and near 100% successful in meeting contact goals.

Over 1.2 million registered to participate in the ShakeOut in Washington alone and 55.8 million worldwide according to Many others simply did it on their own. When the alert was broadcast on EAS and Tsunami alarms across the state they did what we all should do when an earthquake shakes: Drop, Cover and Hold On.

Above Left: Barney Burkely, KPTZ 91.9FM, broadcasts at 10:19am on 10/19.

Above Right: Volunteer, Dick Illman mans the radio during the FRS radio exercise.