California Earthquake Early Warning Program

Earthquake, Tsunami & Volcano Programs
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​What is earthquake early warning?

Earthquake early warning systems use earthquake science and the technology of monitoring systems to create an alert when shaking waves generated by an earthquake are expected to arrive at a specific location. The seconds to minutes of advance warning can provide an opportunity to take actions like "Drop, Cover, and Hold On" to protect life and property from destructive shaking.

The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services is working diligently with other governmental and nongovernmental organizations to bring earthquake early warning to California. For more information see the California Earthquake Early Warning Fact Sheet below.

California Earthquake Early Warning Fact Sheet

​California Earthquake Early Warning Program

Senate Bill 438 was introduced by Senators Hill and Hertzberg addressing Earthquake safety: Statewide earthquake early warning program and system.  SB 438 was signed into law by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr., Governor of California on Thursday, September 29, 2016. The bill continues the directive to develop a comprehensive statewide earthquake early warning system in California through a public-private partnership, and establishes in state government "The California Earthquake Early Warning Program" and "The California Earthquake Early Warning Advisory Board."

Governance Structure

 Earthquake Early Warning Program governance organizaitonal chart

Did you know?

  •  As of 2013, Japan is the only country with a comprehensive nation-wide earthquake early warning system. Other countries and regions have limited deployment of earthquake warning systems, including Taiwan, Mexico (installed to issue alerts to Mexico City primarily), limited regions of Romania (the Basarab bridge in Bucharest) and parts of the United States.
  •  Once fully developed, the system could give downtown Los Angeles 40 to 50 seconds of warning that a potentially damaging earthquake is headed from the southern San Andreas fault, giving time for elevators to stop at the next floor and open up, firefighters to open garage doors, high-speed trains to slow down to avoid derailment and medical personnel to stabilize patients on an operating table.



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