Some people in California heard an alert seconds before the Napa earthquake reached them. That technology is not yet available in Washington state.
KING-TV reports scientists in Washington are working with the U.S. Geological Survey set up an earthquake early warning system called Shake Alert.
University of Washington professor John Vidale says they want to make the system available to the public but they don't have the money to finish building it.
Vidale says Congress isn't willing to spend at least $17 million a year to run the system.
Senator Patty Murray's office says it's among her priorities, but a bill to provide the money hasn't made it beyond committee.
Emergency managers hope last weekend's Napa quake will change that.