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Graphic banner:  News release, King County Executive Ron Sims
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Dec. 28, 2004

You can know if a tsunami is heading your way

In light of the recent Asia earthquake and tsunami, we are reminded of how important it is to be warned of impending disaster no matter where you are: at home, work, during your commute, or even on vacation. A Tone Alert All-Hazard radio is an integral part in making sure your family can receive warnings for natural disasters and other emergencies.

“King County has made the installation of Tone Alert All-Hazard radios a priority in our region,” said Eric Holdeman, Director, King County Office of Emergency Management. “In 2001, we provided a Tone Alert radio to every school in unincorporated King County. This year, we have installed Tone Alert All-Hazard radios in almost every King County facility.

“We are making the safety of our employees and visitors an absolute priority and I encourage everyone to take up the charge of preparedness by incorporating a Tone Alert All-Hazard radio into their family emergency plan,” Holdeman said.

In the case of natural phenomena such as a tsunami, warnings are broadcast over the National Weather Service Tone Alert System. So, even if you’re relaxing with your family on Washington beaches or camping out on the coast, your battery-powered Tone Alert All-Hazard radio can notify you and provide the most comprehensive emergency information available. It will sit quietly in your tent, car or hotel room until an alert is sounded. You do not have to worry about having your TV or AM/FM radio turned on to hear emergency alerts.

If you’re near a coastal beach, here are other ways to know a tsunami may be imminent and you need to seek higher ground:

  • A warning siren may sound.
  • Seawater may recede quickly.
  • The ground may shake, indicating an earthquake has occurred.
  • Your Tone Alert radio issues a warning that a tsunami may be headed to your area.

In addition to receiving tsunami warnings, Tone Alert All-Hazard radios provide other important emergency information.

  • They broadcast warnings and information for all types of hazards, from weather, technological, and natural hazards to national emergencies.
  • Emergency Alert System messages automatically trigger the Tone Alert All-Hazard radio, sending important public safety information to people when they are home, at work, or in school. This area of the country was the first to implement the linking of the EAS system to Tone Alert All-Hazard radios.
  • Not concerned about weather conditions in the mountain passes? Tone Alert All-Hazard radios employ “SAME” digital programming technology, making any hazard information you receive specific to YOUR county.
  • Tone-Alert All-Hazard radios even come in unique versions for people with special hearing needs.

Radios can be purchased locally from electronic stores, as well as through online retailers. To find out more about Tone Alert All-Hazard radios, visit

Contact: Eric Holdeman, Director, 206-205-4060
Office of Emergency Management


King County Office of Emergency Management: Promoting disaster resistant communities through excellence in service and partnerships.

To find out more about what citizens can do to prepare their home, family, and business for hazards in Washington State, visit

Updated: Dec. 28, 2004

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