How to participate in the ShakeAlert® WEA Test on Feb 25

At 11 a.m. on February 25, the Washington Emergency Management Division (EMD) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will jointly send a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) test message to opted-in wireless devices in King, Pierce and Thurston counties. The test message is the first step of the lead-up to public alerting of the ShakeAlert® earthquake early warning system, which will be broadly available to Washingtonians in May 2021 and Oregonians in March 2021.

For more information on ShakeAlert and earthquake early warning in general, you can read our primer here.

To read Washington EMD's official announcement of the test, please visit this page.

Who can get a WEA test alert?

People physically located in King, Pierce or Thurston county who have WEA 2.0 or 3.0 capable devices that are powered on AND have been opted in to receiving WEA test messages may receive the WEA test message. Most modern smartphones can receive WEA alerts, but most people will need to opt in explicitly.

Counties in WA where smartphone users will be able to receive a WEA test alert on Feb 25.

Map area for the 11:00 a.m. Thursday February 25 test of the ShakeAlert system includes King, Pierce, and Thurston Counties.

How can I opt in on my phone?

For newer Apple iPhone models, you will need to do the following:

  • Dial *5005*25371# and tap the call button
  • A message will appear saying, “Test alerts enabled”

For newer Android devices, opting in to WEA test messages may vary:

  • Washington EMD recommends that you use the search function in Settings to search for “Emergency Alerts”
  • Turn on State/local test alerts, or a similar setting you may see, if it is available on your device
  • This setting may not be available on your Android device

For additional support, please refer to your mobile carrier and/or device manufacturer’s website. Or, see Washington EMD’s alerts page:

 Sample ShakeAlert® earthquake alert message to be received by opt-in users on February 25th.

Sample ShakeAlert® earthquake alert message to be received by opted-in smartphone users on February 25th at 11am.

How can I get more involved?

Interested in helping WA EMD and the ShakeAlert team learn about who is receiving earthquake early warning test alerts? Want to get involved with a cool citizen- science project? Then join the official WEA WAtch Party!

If you will be in King, Pierce or Thurston County on Feb 25th, you can sign up in advance to join a virtual WEA WAtch Party between 10:30 and 11:15 a.m. on Zoom. At this virtual event, facilitated by ShakeAlert scientists and educators, you will have the opportunity to learn more about ShakeAlert, participate in the WEA test, and contribute feedback and citizen-science data that will help improve future alert delivery. Register Here.

(Regístrese aquí para la fiesta de lanzamiento del sistema WEA en español).


Can’t attend the WEA WAtch Party but still want to get involved? On February 25 shortly before the test alert, a short survey will be available here: