Earthquake Warning California
Higher Education Toolkit & Resources

Disasters can occur at any time, with little warning. For California’s Higher Education Institutions, earthquakes are not a matter of if, but when. However, technology is available that can help mitigate damage to infrastructure and even save lives.


Colleges, universities, technical institutes, and other higher education settings can play a key role in helping others appropriately prepare for the next major earthquake. Helping others understand the importance of being earthquake prepared can reduce the number of injuries and deaths during an earthquake and lead to a quick recovery for a resilient California.


This October, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) encourages communities to learn about the latest technology for earthquake warnings that can provide a few moments warning before shaking occurs. This includes:


  • Downloading the free MyShake App (free on the Google Play or Apple App Store);
  • Enabling location services to allow the App to connect with ground sensors designed to provide a few moments of warning before shaking; and
  • Sharing information about the MyShake App with staff, students, families, volunteers, and others that attend, work for, or visit the institution and help keep them safe in the next earthquake.


The MyShake App issues warnings for earthquakes with a magnitude of 4.5 or larger. Wireless Emergency Alerts (text-like emergency messages) are issued for earthquakes with a magnitude of 5.0 or larger. Warnings are currently available in both English and Spanish, depending on the user’s mobile phone settings.


Cal OES also encourages institutions to participate in the annual Great California ShakeOut drill, which will take place on October 21, 2021. As part of the earthquake drill, Cal OES encourages faculty, staff, students, and others in higher education settings to download and enable the free MyShake App.


To sign up for the 2021 Great California ShakeOut drill, visit


How to Use Resources in the Earthquake Warning California Toolkit for Higher Education


This toolkit is designed to help make it easy to share information about earthquake warning resources with staff, students, and faculty. This toolkit is available in English, Spanish, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Korean, Tagalog, and Vietnamese at


This toolkit contains the following resources to help promote Earthquake Warning California to California’s Higher Education Institutions:


  • Newsletter language for emails, letters, or other communication channels;
  • Social media text to accompany graphics on social media channels; and
  • Social media graphics to help make social media posts eye-catching.


When an earthquake warning is issued from any of these sources, individuals should quickly take protective actions to stay safe, such as dropping to the ground, covering their head with their arms, and holding onto their neck with both hands until shaking stops. Do not stand in doorways or near glass windows. For further information and resources about Earthquake Warning California or to sign up for the Earthquake Warning California newsletter, please visit


Newsletter Language

In 2020, California became the first in the nation to launch a statewide earthquake warning system, now known as Earthquake Warning California. California residents can find the latest materials, resources, and news relating to the nation’s first statewide, publicly available earthquake warning system at


[Education Institution Name] encourages our [students/staff/faculty] to have a plan for how to protect themselves in the event of an earthquake. As part of preparedness efforts, Cal OES encourages the public to participate in the annual Great California ShakeOut drill, which will take place on October 21, 2021. Cal OES also encourages our staff, students, and faculty to download and enable the MyShake App (free for mobile devices on the Apple App Store and Google Play). If you receive a warning from the MyShake App, always react with the assumption that shaking is about to occur, and take protective measures such as DROP, COVER, and HOLD ON.


[Name of School] will be participating in the Great ShakeOut drill by [insert description of how your organization will be participating in the drill].


To sign up for the 2021 Great California ShakeOut drill, visit


More about Earthquake Warning California


There are three main ways that earthquake warnings are sent out in California, and are available at no cost:


  • The MyShake App is an app that sends warnings to mobile device users. Users receive warnings for earthquakes in their region for earthquakes that are expected to be 4.5 magnitude or larger. The application can be downloaded on the Apple App Store or Google Play and is currently available in both English and Spanish. The MyShake App allows users to crowdsource valuable information about how much shaking people felt and to share information about damage following an earthquake. Location services must be enabled for users to receive earthquake warnings.
  • Android Earthquake Alerts are automatically included in all new and updated Android phones used in California. Android users receive warnings for earthquakes in their region that are expected to be 4.5 magnitude or larger. Android Earthquake Alerts uses the phone’s general location to determine which phones receive the alerts. Location services must be enabled for users to receive earthquake warnings.
  • Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are text-like messages in English and Spanish to WEA-capable mobile devices during emergency situations. WEAs may be sent by state and local public safety officials, the National Weather Service, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, or the President of the United States. WEA-capable mobile devices send earthquake warnings for earthquakes that are expected to be 5.0 magnitude or larger. For this reason, Cal OES encourages mobile users to use the MyShake App in addition to WEAs.


When you receive an earthquake warning or start to feel shaking, be sure to take protective action such as to drop, cover, and hold on until shaking stops. When seeking cover, make sure your entire body is underneath a sturdy table or desk, or get down near an interior wall or low-lying furniture that will not fall on you. If driving, safely pull over to the side of the road and pull the parking brake. Be sure to stay away from windows, glass, overpasses, or objects that could fall on you.


To learn more about Earthquake Warning California, the MyShake App, or the other earthquake warning resources, visit

Social Media

Sector-specific social media images are available at


Please consider using social media to help spread awareness about Earthquake Warning California resources. Hashtags (#) help others looking for information to see trending posts while using the @ symbol tags other organizations (use @Cal_OES for Twitter and @CaliforniaOES for Facebook).


  • [Insert Higher Ed Name]’s on-campus emergency plan can be found at [website]. We also encourage faculty, staff, and students to learn about free earthquake warning tools at #EarthquakeWarningCA.
  • ⚠️@Cal_OES is offering free tools that provide earthquake warnings⚠️Learn about #EarthquakeWarningCA at
  • Stay #earthquake prepared both on and off-campus with the #MyShake App. Learn more at
  • #ICYMI you can receive #earthquake warnings at no-cost through the #MyShake App, #AndroidEarthquakeAlerts, and #WEAs. 🤳 Go to to learn more.
  • Earthquakes can happen at any time and they don’t have to catch you off guard. 👊 Learn about free #earthquake warning tools at!


Social Media (Graphics)

The following graphics are sized for Twitter (1200 x 675 pixels). If you are interested in a different size, please email

Right click an image above to save it, or click it to enlarge it.


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