Here’s How you can get Early Warnings of Earthquakes in California

Myshake Earthquake Alert App

Living in California means being in a seismic hotspot, and the fear of a major earthquake is ever-present. However, being prepared can make all the difference. California leads the way as the first U.S. state with a seismic alert system, and here’s how you can receive early warnings on your phone.

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Why the Concern?

California sits on the San Andreas fault, where tectonic plates meet, making it prone to earthquakes. Experts predict major quakes every 45 to 144 years, and the last significant one was in 1857. The looming “Big One” keeps the state on alert.

The Early Warning System

To address this, California has an early warning system that gives crucial seconds before the strongest shaking occurs. Here’s how you can receive these alerts:

1. MyShake App

The MyShake app provides alerts just before an earthquake hits. Available for free on the App Store and Google Play, it tailors alerts to your phone’s language preference. Ensure your phone’s location settings are “always on” for optimal functionality.

2. Android Earthquake Alerts

For Californians with Android devices, earthquake early warnings are integrated, thanks to a partnership with Google. No separate app download is needed. Operated by the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and the US Geological Survey (USGS), this system delivers timely alerts.

3. Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA)

The Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) system is a national lifesaver, delivering concise messages during emergencies. This system, available in English and Spanish, sends alerts to WEA-compliant mobile devices. State and local authorities, the National Weather Service, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and even the President use WEA.

Wireless Emergency Alerts

What to Do When You Receive an Alert

When you get an earthquake alert, it’s time to take life-saving actions. Remember to practice “duck, cover, and hold” and secure your devices safely.

Staying informed and having the right tools at your fingertips can make a significant difference in earthquake-prone regions like California. Download the MyShake app, stay aware of Android integrated alerts, and ensure your phone is WEA-compliant to receive timely warnings and act swiftly when needed. Your safety matters, and these early warnings are designed to give you the precious seconds that could make all the difference.

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