MyShake App: Take Cover Before The Ground Shakes


Did you know there is an app on your phone that can alert you seconds before an earthquake hits giving you time to act?

The MyShake app, is the country’s first publicly available, statewide warning system giving California residents crucial seconds to take cover before shaking begins.

“California is proud to have the first statewide earthquake warning system and now to spread the word broadly about this new innovative, life-saving system,” said Cal OES Director, Mark Ghilarducci. “Cal OES’s leadership facilitated making warnings publically available. The public can now have moments of warning before previously unexpected natural disasters. It is changing the world of mitigation and emergency management.”

Managed by the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), the MyShake App uses ground motion sensors from across the state to detect earthquakes before humans can feel them and can notify Californians to “Drop, Cover and Hold On” in advance of an earthquake.

The Great ShakeOut Earthquake drills held on the third Thursday of October (This year: October 21), is a worldwide earthquake safety movement, involving 16.5 million people registered to participate in 2021 (and counting). Most participate in ShakeOut by registering to practice. People who have downloaded the MyShake app to their phone will receive a TEST warning at 10:15am with guidance to Drop, Cover, and Hold On!

During the self-led drill, participants practice how to “Drop, Cover, and Hold On.” Endorsed by emergency officials and first responders, the safe response to an earthquake is to:

  • DROP where you are, onto your hands and knees.
  • COVER your head and neck with one arm and hand.
  • If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath it for shelter.
  • If no shelter is nearby, crawl next to an interior wall (away from windows).
  • Stay on your knees, bend over to protect vital organs.
  • HOLD ON until shaking stops.
  • Under shelter: Hold on to it with one hand and be ready to move with your shelter if it shifts.
  • No shelter: hold on to your head and neck with both arms and hands.

“The Great ShakeOut drill is an important reminder that earthquakes are a real risk in California. Knowing what to do in the event of an earthquake will help you, your family, and community have a more positive outcome,” said Christina Curry, Chief Deputy Director of Cal OES. “Having tools and resources such as the MyShake app is an important way to be prepared. This tool can provide seconds of warning ahead of an earthquake giving you the opportunity to prepare and act.”

To learn more about earthquake preparedness, the MyShake app, Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs), Android Earthquake Alerts, and the latest earthquake warning news, visit: