With an earthquake early warning (EEW) system you could receive an alert for an impending earthquake that could prompt you to make life saving decisions. Depending upon where the epicenter is located in proximity to you, you could have seconds to minutes of warning. What could you do with that time? You could seek shelter under a heavy piece of furniture, such as a desk or table. You could pull your car over on the side of the road avoiding bridges, overpasses and other items likely to fall upon you. You could tell your loved ones to seek cover. Surgeries could halt. Trains could be stopped. Elevators could be returned to the ground floor. How valuable would this technology be to those of us on the West Coast?
The U.S.G.S. in partnership with universities, the private sector and state governments is developing the ShakeAlert system to provide such an alert to the West Coast stretching from Washington down to California. This system when fully implemented will provide warnings for intense shaking. Warnings will be distributed to local and state public emergency response officials, critical infrastructure, private businesses and the public. EEW systems have been successfully implemented in Japan, Mexico, China, Taiwan and Turkey.
Currently, it is operating as a prototype in CA, OR and WA. California has been testing the system and sending alerts since 2012. In 2014, test users at Berkeley, received a 5-second warning of the South Napa earthquake on August 24th. I look forward to this technology being available to the greater community! I will keep my ears and eyes on a diligent watch to alert each and every one of you when it becomes widely available!
To learn more, please visit these links:
SHAKE ALERT SYSTEM
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