Alert & Warning Notifications
There are multiple ways you can receive Tsunami Alerts:
- Through Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA)
- NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR)
- The National Tsunami Warning Center’s Twitter
- Multiple Third-party applications/services
- Other social media accounts
Check if Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) are turned on
Whether you have an Android Phone or an Apple iPhone, you can receive tsunami alerts for a tsunami warning ONLY through WEA. Check if WEA is turned on by clicking here.
Get a NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR)
NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR) is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information directly from the nearest National Weather Service office. NWR is an "All Hazards" radio network, making it your single source for comprehensive weather and emergency information. In conjunction with Federal, State, and Local Emergency Managers and other public officials, NWR also broadcasts warning and post-event information for all types of hazards – including tsunamis. To learn more about purchasing a NOAA Weather Radio receiver, check out the National Weather Service here.
Do you have a Reecom weather radio model 1630? This
is the model WA EMD and many local jurisdictions utilize and distribute
to the public. If so, we have created a video to help you program your
radio. Check it out!
Follow the National Tsunami Warning Center Twitter Account
The National Tsunami Warning Center issues tsunami information for the continental U.S. and Canada. They have a Twitter account where they post official notices at https://twitter.com/NWS_NTWC. To receive notifications when a tweet from @NWS_NTWC is sent, you must choose to be notified within the Twitter app on your mobile device and/or through the twitter.com website. For instructions on how to set up tweet notifications (also known as “push” notifications) to your device, check out this help menu.
Download the NVS Tsunami Evacuation App
The Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems provides the NVS Tsunami Evacuation App,
available to download for free in the Apple App Store and on Google
Play. The NVS Tsunami Evacuation App provides an at-a-glance view of
where the tsunami hazard zones are along the Oregon and Washington
coast, and allows you to map whether your home, work, school, etc. is
located in a tsunami evacuation zone or not. To help you develop and
plan your own evacuation routes, the Tsunami Evacuation App enables you
to save your current position or points of interest via GPS or address
look-up. It also pushes tsunami alert notifications directly to your
National Weather Service provides InteractiveNWS (iNWS), an application suite able to send NWS products to local partners in multiple ways, including as emails and texts. Visit https://inws.ncep.noaa.gov/ to learn more or to sign up for the service. Once your registration has been accepted you can go onto the site and set up text alerts by county/parish, lat/long, or street address. You can also draw a polygon on the map provided to set up a custom alerting area.
Other social media accounts
In addition, you can follow WA EMD, WA DNR, and NWS Seattle and Portland* on social media at the links below to ensure you get updated and accurate event information as quickly as possible. Because we never know when or where disaster will strike, it’s important to have multiple ways of receiving alerts.
- WA EMD Facebook and Twitter
- WA DNR Facebook and Twitter
- NWS Seattle Facebook and Twitter
- NWS Portland Facebook and Twitter
*NWS Seattle is responsible for all inner coast Washington counties, as well as Clallam, Jefferson and Grays Harbor counties. NWS Portland is responsible for Pacific County.
For more about tsunamis and to view tsunami maps, visit our website here.
ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning
The USGS ShakeAlert™ Earthquake Early Warning system is available on all mobile phones in Washington and may provide seconds of warning to protect yourself before earthquake shaking arrives. If shaking from an earthquake is expected at your location, there are THREE ways you can receive earthquake alerts on your mobile phone:
- The new MyShake App
- Your phone’s built-in software on Android Phones.
- The Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system on all phones
Download the MyShake App
The MyShake App sends a warning to mobile phone users that shaking is about to occur. The system uses ground-motion sensors to detect earthquakes that have already started and estimates their size, location, and impact. When it detects a significant magnitude, the system issues a ShakeAlert® Message, providing a warning a few seconds before shaking begins.
How can I get it?
The mobile application is available now for free in the App Store and on Google Play. The MyShake App is also available in Spanish. It is the same app regardless of English or Spanish — if your phone language is set to Spanish, the app will appear in Spanish.
App creators have included a warning tone to precede the audible earthquake warning, “Earthquake. Drop, cover, hold on. Shaking expected.”
All users will also be able set a default “HomeBase” location in the app, so they can receive earthquake early warning alerts for that location even when they have location services turned off. This is a solution to help those concerned about privacy who do not want to enable locations in their phones. If you don’t want to set up a “HomeBase,” make sure your location settings are enabled. When location services are off (or denied for the app) then the user receives alerts for only the HomeBase location. When location services are on (and allowed for the app), then a user will receive alerts both for their actual location *and* their HomeBase location.
Learn more about the app from https://earthquake.ca.gov/get-alerts/. MyShake was developed by the UC Berkeley Seismology Lab and sponsored by the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.
The MyShake App is the only app capable of delivering earthquake early warnings in Washington state at this time. Learn more about ShakeAlert License to Operate Partners available in Washington state.
Your phone’s built-in software on ANDROID PHONES.
Android Phone users receive alerts through their phone’s built-in software (No apps required). To enable, simply check if this setting is turned on for your Android Phone by doing the following:
- Make sure that your location settings are turned on AND. Search for “Earthquake Alerts” in your Settings menu.
- Go to Settings - search “Earthquake Alerts.” Click “Wireless Emergency Alerts.” Earthquake Alerts, then ensure that the button is to the right, to turn alerts on.
- Instructions may vary slightly based on phone model and carrier. This video gives an example of how to find the alert.
- For additional information about ShakeAlert® and Google, please visit this website.
- See a video demonstrating the Earthquake Alerts on Android.
- Watch Google's April 29, 2021 Webinar presentation here.
The Android alert triggers at 4.5 magnitude earthquakes and greater. See the current ShakeAlert® threshold for magnitude and intensity here.
The Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system on all phones (and other types of phones)
Apple iPhone and other phone users can receive ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warnings through Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA). Check if WEA is turned on by clicking here.
If shaking from an earthquake is expected at your location, the WEA message will say:
- English: Earthquake Detected! Drop, Cover, Hold On. Protect Yourself. -USGS ShakeAlert
- Spanish: Terremoto detectado! Agachese, cubrase, sujetese. Protejase. -USGS ShakeAlert
For WEA, the system is set for earthquakes 5.0 and above and shaking that would cause shaking strong enough for dishes and windows to rattle or greater in your area. See the current ShakeAlert threshold for magnitude and intensity here. For additional information regarding ShakeAlert and WEA, please visit their website on ShakeAlert®
Learn more about how the ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning system works and how to protect yourself before, during and after an earthquake by clicking here.
Local "OPT IN" emergency alerts
Find your local region and click the applicable hyperlink. Follow the directions to opt into getting notices on your phone via email and text. These are alerts you would likely NOT receive unless you choose to do so. This is different than a Wireless Emergency Alert or the ShakeAlert system. For instance, you may be notified about road closures, evacuations, wildfires, storms and floods.
- Adams County (not available)
- Asotin County
- Benton County
- Chelan County
- Clallam County
- Clark County
- Columbia County Alert
- Cowlitz County
- Douglas County
- Ferry County Alert
- Franklin County
- Garfield County
- Grays Harbor County
- Grant County
- Island County Alert
- Jefferson County
- King County
- Alert King County
- King County Flood Alert App
- King County Emergency News
- ALERT Seattle
- City of Marysville Alert
- City of Redmond Alert
- University of Washington Alert
- Kitsap County Alert
- Kittitas County
- Klickitat County
- Lewis County Alert
- Lincoln County
- Mason County Alert
- Okanogan County Alert
- Pacific County Hyper Reach
- Pierce County Alert
- Pend Oreille County Alert
- San Juan County Alert
- Skagit County
- Skamania County Alert
- Snohomish County
- Spokane County
- Stevens County
- Thurston Community Alert
- Wahkiakum County
- Walla Walla County
- Whatcom County
- Whitman County/Pullman Alert
- Yakima County
Volcano Notification Service
To subscribe to receive Volcano Alerts directly from USGS, you can subscribe to the Volcano Notification Service.
Washington’s five volcanoes (Mt. Baker, Glacier Peak, Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Adams) are all active volcanoes, with the potential to erupt again in our lifetimes. All five are closely monitored by the USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory (CVO) and additional monitoring equipment is constantly being installed. Magma moving up through the crust as a volcano prepares for an eruption is called volcanic unrest and can be detected by USGS CVO’s instruments. If they believe this unrest is a sign of a potential eruption, USGS scientists will change the Volcano Alert Level. Even though small earthquakes are common at many of our volcanoes, a long history of monitoring these volcanoes shows that this is Normal or background-level activity, not something that indicates an eruption is imminent.
For more on volcano hazards, visit our website here.
Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA)
The Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) is a system that broadcasts public safety messages (like AMBER Alerts, Earthquake Early Warning Alerts, Tsunami Alerts) over the commercial cellular system. Customers with compatible mobile phones can receive geographically targeted, text-like messages alerting them to threats to safety in their area. All WEA alerts, regardless of type, behave the same. The device makes a distinctive notification sound and vibration, and the message pops up in a text window on the screen.
To check if Wireless Emergency Alerts are turned on for Apple iPhones, you will need to do the following:
- Tap “Settings” > “Notifications”
- Scroll to the bottom of the screen.
- Under “Government Alerts” tap “Emergency Alerts” and “Public Safety Alerts” to turn them on or off. Some iPhones have the ability to say "Always Deliver" or to turn this off. You will want to make sure the setting stays on "Always Deliver."
- If emergency alerts are turned on, the circle will be on the right-hand side of the switch. You will get WEAs on your iPhone and no further action is needed.
- If emergency alerts are turned off, the circle will be on the left-hand side of the switch. You will need to tap the switch to put it in the “on” position. You will now get WEAs on your iPhone and no further action is needed.
- Please see a video demonstrating this on an iPhone.
To check if Wireless Emergency Alerts are turned on for Android Phones, you will need to do the following:
- We recommend that you use the search function in “Settings” to find “Emergency Alerts” or “Public safety messages." You may have to click the three dots in the upper right-hand corner of the screen, click settings and click alert types.
- If you can’t find “Emergency Alerts” by searching in “Settings,” try searching for “Emergency Alerts” in the text message app, instead. You may have to click the three dots in the upper right-hand corner of the screen, click settings and click alert types.
- Make sure all alerts are turned on (i.e. “Extreme threats," “Severe threats,” and “Public safety messages”).
- If alerts are turned on, the circle will be on the right-hand side of the switch. You will get WEAs on your Android phone and no further action is needed.
- If alerts are turned off, the circle will be on the left-hand side of the switch. You will need to tap the switch to put it in the “on” position. You will now get WEAs on your Android phone and no further action is needed.
- As examples, please see a video demonstrating this on an Android Phone (Galaxy S9) and this video for an S21.
Instructions may vary depending on your mobile phone carrier and/or mobile phone manufacturer. For additional questions, please refer to your mobile phone carrier and/or mobile phone manufacturer’s website for additional information.
To check if Wireless Emergency Alerts are turned on for other types of phones (not Apple iPhones or Android Phones), you will need to do the following:
Contact your mobile phone carrier and/or mobile phone’s manufacture's website for additional information. If you already get AMBER Alerts, you may get these alerts, too. But it's not guaranteed because phones use different settings. Ask about emergency alerts or public safety alerts.
Emergency Management News Sources
Washington Emergency Management Division maintains a Facebook Page, a Nextdoor Account and a Twitter Account. For local information, consult with local sheriff and county emergency management services.
- Adams County: website, facebook
- Asotin County: website, facebook
- Benton County: website, twitter, facebook
- Chelan County: website, facebook
- Clallam County: website, facebook, nextdoor
- Clark County: website, twitter, facebook
- Columbia County: website, facebook
- Cowlitz County: website, twitter, facebook
- Douglas County: website, twitter, facebook
- Ferry County: website, facebook
- Franklin County: website, facebook
- Garfield County: website, facebook
- Grant County: website, twitter, facebook
- Grays Harbor County: website, twitter, facebook
- Island County: website, facebook
- Jefferson County: website, facebook
- King County: website, twitter, facebook
- Kitsap County: website, twitter, facebook
- Kittitas County: website, twitter, facebook
- Klickitat County: website, facebook
Lewis County: website, twitter
- Lincoln County: website, facebook
- Mason County: website, twitter, facebook
- Okanogan County: website, twitter, facebook
- Pacific County: website, twitter, facebook
- Pend Oreille County: website
- Pierce County: website, twitter, facebook
- San Juan County: website, twitter, facebook
- Skagit County: website, twitter, facebook
- Skamania County: website, facebook
- Snohomish County: website, twitter, facebook
- Spokane County: website, twitter, facebook
- Stevens County: website, twitter, facebook
- Thurston County: website, twitter, facebook
- Wahkiakum County: website, facebook
- Walla Walla County: website, twitter, facebook
- Whatcom County: website, twitter, facebook
- Whitman County: website, facebook
- Yakima County: website, twitter, facebook
- Federal Emergency Management Agency: FEMA/IPAWS
- Ready.Gov/alerts: http://www.ready.gov/alerts
- National Weather Service Email and SMS Weather Alert Services
For more information on Washington State emergency notification plans, visit https://mil.wa.gov/plans. For more information on the EAS plan, visit https://mil.wa.gov/emergency-alert-system-eas-state-plan