Sacramento, CA – California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS), in partnership with the City of Oakland and Alameda County, will conduct a test for distributing earthquake alerts through the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system on March 27, 2019, at 11:00 a.m. in Downtown Oakland.
Through this test, Cal OES will evaluate the system’s ability to deliver a sample Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) alert, known as a ShakeAlert, over the WEA system to the public’s cell phones. The government uses WEA to deliver messages like AMBER Alerts and severe weather alerts to your cell phone. This test will target approximately 60 square blocks east of Lake Merritt in Downtown Oakland, using current geofencing technology. However, due to limitations in the technology, some people outside the target area may receive the alert too.
Public notification of the test has already begun using radio public service announcements in the Bay Area. Fliers have also been distributed to businesses within and just outside the area that will receive the alert, as well as social media.
For this test to meet its goals, we need support from the Oakland community to give us feedback about when they received the test on their cell phones.
Please take the following steps:
1) Before the test starts, using either your cell phone or your desktop computer go to the official web site www.time.is. Make sure that your correct time zone is being reflected in the readout.
2) Starting a few minutes in advance of the scheduled alert time (11:00 a.m. PDT), keep a close watch on your cell phone and the official time and note the exact time – to the nearest second, if you can — at which the alert first arrives on your phone. This alert will have the heading “Emergency Alert,” and this message: “TEST of the CA Earthquake Warning System. No action required. THIS IS A TEST.”
3/22/2019 Press Release: City of Oakland Epicenter for Earthquake Alert Test
3) Please take this survey armed with the time (to the second) you received the alert.
For more information on the test and how to participate by filling out a survey, please visit
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