Earthquake Warning California
Utilities Toolkit & Resources

Disasters can occur at any time, with little warning. However, technology is available that can help mitigate damage to infrastructure and even save lives.


This October, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) encourages utility providers and their employees 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 MyShake 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, clients, and vendors that live or work in California to 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 organizations 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 organizations and their employees to download and enable the free MyShake App. Drills should include consideration for how to best take protective measures for your industry, including on the road, in the field, or in an office.


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


How to Use Resources in the Utilities Toolkit


This toolkit is designed to help make it easy for utility providers to share information about earthquake warning resources with their clients, staff, vendors, and others. Toolkits tailored for other industries (medical, education, etc) are available at All industry toolkits are available in English, Spanish, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Korean, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.


This toolkit contains the following resources for utility providers to promote Earthquake Warning California:


  • 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.


In addition to the resources below, Cal OES encourages organizations to share important tips specific to the utility industry that can help mitigate damage and ensure that power, gas, electric, and other essential resources are back online as soon as possible. This includes sharing tips with customers such as turning utilities off when gas, water, or electric lines are broken following an earthquake


For further information and resources about Earthquake Warning California or to sign up for the Earthquake Warning California newsletter, please visit


To learn more about the MyShake App and Earthquake Warning California, visit

Newsletter Language

The following can be copy/pasted and tailored for emails, newsletters, or other communication methods used by your organization. Be sure to insert the name of your organization where indicated.


In California, natural disasters can occur at any time with little warning and earthquakes are not a matter of if, but when. Being prepared ahead of time and implementing resources to help stay safe when an earthquake strikes can make a world of difference when it comes to quakes.


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


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 the public 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 MyShake, always react with the assumption that shaking is about to occur, and take protective measures such as DROP, COVER, and HOLD ON.


[Name of Your Organization] 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


Remember, in the event of an earthquake, utilities such as gas, electric, and water may be broken. Be sure to have a plan ahead of time to check for leaks in and around the home, and know how to turn off broken lines if necessary. If you smell gas indoors or outdoors, turn off the line if you can do so safely (do NOT turn it back on) and evacuate immediately. Utility providers can assist with turning the gas line back on and check for damages.


[Insert information about any automated safety features your utility company uses in the event of an earthquake that you want to include here. Otherwise, remove.]


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 State. 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, power lines, 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

The following can be tailored and copy/pasted to social media channels to encourage followers to download the MyShake App and learn about Earthquake Warning California. You can also tag Cal OES in your post (Twitter: @Cal_OES / Facebook: @CaliforniaOES).


  • #DYK – the #MyShakeApp is designed to issue warnings for #earthquakes 4.5M or higher? Download the free app from the Apple App or Google Play store.
  • [Org handle] is proud to be participating in this year’s Great #California #ShakeOut drill on October 21. Get the free #MyShakeApp today on the Apple App Store or Google Play.
  • In the event of an #earthquake warning, [org handle] includes protocols to automatically power down equipment to protect critical infrastructure and help save lives. Learn more about the #MyShakeApp and earthquake warnings 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.


Click the top right icon to reveal the video playlist