April is Earthquake Preparedness Month in California


A gradient orange background with a seismograph reading in the background. There is bold text that reads “April is California Earthquake Preparedness Month.” On the bottom right is a link to ListosCalifornia.org and the Listos California logo of a golden bear and red star.

As California continues to lead the country in emergency management and disaster preparedness, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) is also home to Earthquake Warning California. With April as Earthquake Preparedness Month, we want you to be ready!

California is known for its frequent seismic activity. In just the past few weeks, Californians have experienced a handful of earthquakes in Salinas, Morgan Hill, Ferndale and San Diego to name a few.

That’s why knowing what to do if an earthquake hits our community is essential because it’s not if but when it happens.


  • Participate in Earthquake Warning California, sign up for:
    • Government Emergency Alerts
    • My Shake App
  • Know how to protect yourself during an earthquake
    • Drop to the ground, cover your head with your arms, and hold onto your neck until shaking stops
  • Develop an emergency preparedness plan
    • Create a customized emergency plan for your specific needs
  • Pack an emergency supply kit
    • Your emergency kit should address all daily needs
  • Understand and mitigate hazards
    • Visit myhazards.caloes.ca.gov to learn about local risks and how to prepare your home (including securing furniture, appliances, home fuel systems, and more)


To receive earthquake warnings, there are three ways for individuals and families to get alerts through the California Earthquake Early Warning System.

  • MyShake App: Free smartphone app that provides iPhone users with audio and visual warnings, available in both English and Spanish.
  • Android Earthquake Alerts: Android phones with updated operating systems are automatically subscribed to Android Earthquake Alerts, which uses the same technology as the MyShake App; and
  • Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs): No-cost text messages for emergency situations sent through the nation-wide system providing lifesaving information for the State of California



As California continues to harness the power of science and technology to help keep our communities safe, when it comes to earthquakes, seconds can save lives.

Californians can be proactive in their own readiness by learning about Earthquake Warning California, which provides preparedness tips and advance shaking notifications to Californians.

Warnings delivered through the system are based on a computerized program called ShakeAlert, operated by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) in partnership with Cal OES that analyzes data from seismic networks in California, calculates preliminary magnitudes, and then estimates which areas will feel shaking.

The California Earthquake Early Warning System marries a smartphone application with traditional alert and warning delivery methods such as Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA). The system uses ground motion sensors from across the state to detect earthquakes before humans can feel them.

In addition to the emergency alerts sent to individuals through MyShake and Android, the underlying technology is also being used to automate protective actions such as slowing trains, opening firehouse doors, recalling elevators, shutting off water and gas valves as well as closing bridges gates and notifying personnel in school and medical settings.

In 2019, on the 30th anniversary of the deadly Loma Prieta earthquake, Governor Newsom announced the launch of the nation’s first statewide Earthquake Early Warning System.


Join your neighbors in being prepared and aware of what to do when the next big earthquake occurs.

To download the MyShake app and for more earthquake preparedness tips, visit earthquake.ca.gov.