How to set up your Android phone to receive alerts in the event of an earthquake

Google is responsible for sending early warnings to its users in the event of an earthquake greater than 4.5 on the Richter Scale – Photo: Dimas Ardian/Getty Images

Receiving an early warning seconds before an earthquake strikes can make the difference between surviving or not surviving such an event. That’s why Google developed a feature for Android that can alert users when an earthquake is about to strike so they can seek shelter.

The tool, created in 2020, operates with the help of 700 seismographs worldwide and in collaboration with emergency services.

This Android feature operates in two modes when earthquakes greater than 4.5 on the Richter Scale are detected. The first one is through a “danger alert,” which is designed for cases in which the tremors are mild and serves to provide information about the event.

In this type of case, because it is a relatively low danger situation, the notification respects the volume settings set by the user at the time. Also, the alert will remain in the background if the phone is in do not disturb mode.

The second type of notification, called “alert to take action,” is intended for situations in which the tremor is of a moderate or strong level so that the person has time to take the necessary measures to be able to protect themselves as far as possible. Unlike the other type of notifications, this one ignores the phone’s settings and proceeds to turn on the screen and play a loud sound so that anyone nearby can detect it and act accordingly.

Here’s how you can go about enabling this feature on your Android phone:

1. The first thing you need to do is access your phone’s settings page. To do this, you must click on the gear-shaped button in your device’s main menu.

2. After doing that, you will have to go to the location option, where you will find the information of all the applications that use the GPS data of the terminal. At this point, you will have to press the “location services” option located at the bottom of the screen.

3. This will redirect you to a new screen where you must select the first option identified as “earthquake alerts.” When you do this again, you will be redirected to a new menu, where you only need to check the corresponding box.