CSAC Bulletin Article

Cal OES Provides Earthquake Warning Tools and Education

October 8, 2020

Earlier this week, Cal OES launched Earthquake Warning California’s “Don’t Get Caught Off Guard” education and outreach campaign. The goal of the campaign is to educate Californians on tools and resources available through Earthquake Warning California, the first statewide earthquake warning system in the nation, to help them stay safe in an earthquake. This includes no-cost resources that can give Californians a few moments notice before an earthquake hits, including the MyShake App, Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), and Android Earthquake Alerts.

The campaign is a statewide education effort to help the public learn about earthquake warning tools and resources. Cal OES, in collaboration with the California Integrated Seismic Network Partners from United States Geological Survey (USGS), University of California – Berkeley (UCB), California Institute of Technology (Cal Tech), and California Geological Survey (CGS) launched the nation’s first State Earthquake Early Warning System in October of 2019. The system uses ground motion sensors and sensors in smartphones to detect an earthquake before humans can feel it and issues a ShakeAlert® message in real time so they can take cover before shaking happens. An earthquake warning can provide additional life-saving seconds for people to Drop, Cover, and Hold On.

The “Don’t Get Caught Off Guard” education campaign will deliver messages through advertising channels including digital, social media, and broadcast advertising, as well as outreach to community and industry organizations to increase awareness of available technology. The campaign will be sustained through 2022 with an optional one-year extension.

Earthquake Warning California resources include:

  • Information about constructing an emergency plan
  • How to protect yourself and your family before, during and after an earthquake
  • Android Earthquake Alerts developed in partnership with Cal OES and USGS
  • The MyShake App — a smartphone app developed in partnership with Cal OES and UC Berkeley that can provide users with a few seconds of notification that shaking is about to occur
  • Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) — free notifications delivered to cell phones in emergency situations.
  • Information for business sectors to plan for life-saving actions in the event of an alert, such as safely slowing mass transit systems, powering down equipment, or bringing elevators to an emergency stop.
  • Links to the California Integrated Seismic Network Partners for additional technical and system information.

If you have any questions, please reach out to:

Amanda Moyer
Program Manager
California Earthquake Early Warning Program
California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services
Cell Phone: (916) 698-5516

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