HOW TO GET WARNINGS IN ADVANCE OF AN EARTHQUAKE
Types of Alerts
The Earthquake Warning For California systems use science, state-of-the-art ground motion monitoring, as well as new and existing alerting methods to deliver warnings to people via cell phones before the strongest shaking arrives. Seconds to tens of seconds of alert can provide opportunity to take life-saving actions such as Drop, Cover, and Hold On and put devices into various forms of a safe mode. The speed of the alert will vary depending on one’s distance from the origin of the earthquake. The closer one is to origin, the quicker one will receive the alert. In some cases people may receive an alert once they feel shaking or after an earthquake passes.
For the first time, you can receive warning of an earthquake before you feel shaking. Earthquake Warning California can give you seconds of notice using the following tools:
- MyShake App
- Android Earthquake Alerts
- Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs).
When you receive an alert or feel shaking drop, cover and hold on!
Here is more detail on the different types of alerts you can receive.
Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs)
Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) is a nation-wide system providing lifesaving information WEAs are used to send concise, text-like messages in English and Spanish to WEA-capable mobile devices during emergency situations. WEAs can be sent by your state and local public safety officials, the National Weather Service, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the President of the United States.
Types of Alerts:
Presidential: Alerts issued by the President or a designee during a national emergency.
Imminent Threat: Alerts issued when an imminent threat to life or property exists in your area, including severe man-made or natural disasters such as earthquakes, wild fires, hurricanes, and tornadoes.
AMBER: Alerts issued to help law enforcement search for and locate an abducted child.
How does the MyShake App work?
The MyShake App sends a warning to mobile phone users that shaking is about to occur. The system uses ground-motion sensors to detect earthquakes that have already started and estimates their size, location, and impact. When it detects a significant magnitude, the system issues a ShakeAlert ® Message, providing a warning before shaking begins. The MyShake App allows people to crowdsource valuable information about how much shaking people felt and to share information about damage following an earthquake.
How can I get it?
The mobile application is available now for free in the App Store and on Google Play. The MyShake App is also available in Spanish. It is the same app regardless of English or Spanish — if your phone language is set to Spanish, the app will appear in Spanish.
How does this work?
Collect. When your phone is stationary, the MyShake App is ready to collect data from ground motion sensors.
Detect. The MyShake App uses machine learning to decide which motion is produced by earthquakes and which isn’t
Record. When the MyShake App detects an earthquake, its network of phones records (and securely stores data that does not contain personally identifiable elements) the shaking for analysis of earthquake trends and continuous improvement of the technology.
What do I do to enable the MyShake App to work?
The MyShake App uses your phone’s general location so that ground sensors issuing a warning can connect to the phones of users in the nearby area that may be impacted. Ensure that your phone location settings are set to “always on.”
In partnership with Google, California’s earthquake early warning technology is automatically included in millions of Android phones used in California, without the need to download a separate app. The system uses the same data feed to receive and distribute alerts as Earthquake Warning California, the state’s Earthquake Early Warning System.
Warnings delivered through the system are based on a computerized program called ShakeAlert®, operated by the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) that analyzes data from seismic networks in California, calculates preliminary magnitudes, and then estimates which areas will feel shaking.
Just a reminder… The system uses your phone’s general location to determine which phones receive alerts, so it is important to enable location services.
Click below to watch a video about our Android Alerts system.