shake alert

WASHINGTON STATE - The Washington Emergency Management Division is releasing the ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning system on May 4. 

The system, operated by the U.S Geological Survey and the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, is capable of giving residents seconds of warning before an earthquake. 

“We all know an earthquake could strike at any time. An Earthquake Early Warning system could provide the critical time needed for Washingtonians to drop, cover and hold on. It has the potential to save lives and reduce damage to critical infrastructure,” said Gov. Jay Inslee.

ShakeAlert does not predict earthquakes, rather, it rapidly detects them and is capable of providing information including the size, location and intensity. Giving residents precious time to get to cover.

The system also has the potential to close water valves, lift fire station doors so first responders can get vehicles and equipment out, slow down trains and warn hospitals to halt surgeries. 

Android users will potentially be able to receive alerts through both Wireless Emergency Alerts and their phones’ built-in software. The catch is that users must have their location services on and Earthquake Alerts enabled.

Third-party apps powered by ShakeAlert may also be available when they system launches in May. 

Washington Emergency Management Division will host a webinar on Thursday, April 29 where partners will present key information about the ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning system launch.