SEATTLE — Washington residents and visitors now have access to an additional early earthquake warning tool already used in Oregon and Califonia.
MyShake, a mobile app funded by the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), was made available Wednesday for Washington residents and visitors.
The Washington Emergency Management Division worked with Cal OES to make sure the app had additional information for tsunamis before being rolled out in the state.
The app, designed by seismologists and engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, will give users seconds of warning time before earthquake shaking, letting people seek cover or move away from windows. The app also lets users share damage reports with their community and offers a platform to share experiences.
MyShake has been downloaded more than 1.6 million times since it was launched in 2019, according to the app's website. Most recently, it provided a warning to about half a million phones, for a magnitude 6.2 earthquake near Petrolia, California on Dec. 20.
The app provides another option for users to get an earthquake alert on their mobile devices. Washington residents can already receive alerts from the U.S. Geological Survey's ShakeAlert and through the Wireless Emergency Alert.
The ShakeAlert system is run in partnership with the Universities of Washington, Oregon, California-Berkeley and Caltech. It uses ground motion sensors in all three states to detect earthquakes that have occurred and automatically notifies residents and visitors.
The warning system has been providing public alerts to Washington residents through their mobile phones since its rollout in May 2021.
The MyShake app is available for free through the Apple App Store and GooglePlay for Android phones.
Users can learn more about the different options available at mil.wa.gov/alerts.