Become a ShakeAlert System Partner

ShakeAlert® Partnerships

Introduction (please read this section carefully):

The USGS is actively seeking technical partners to use USGS issued ShakeAlert Messages for applications such as alerting people to take a protective action such as Drop, Cover, and Hold On and/or trigger an automated action. We encourage the development of both commercial and non-commercial products and services.

A critical component of the successful implementation of the ShakeAlert System is a sound education and training program. The USGS and its partners encourage the development of programs and resources elemental to successful and sustained user uptake of the ShakeAlert System to maximize life-safety and property protection impacts.

If your organization is interested in exploring a technical or CEO partnership, please contact your local ShakeAlert Regional Coordinator (contact information below) to learn more and discuss your project.

Want to know more?

 Technical Overview – Quickstart Guide for Prospective Technical Partners (7/2020) [.pdf]

Overview of the ShakeAlert System (2020). The ShakeAlert System is comprised of the USGS managed ShakeAlert system (top tier) and the community of alert production and delivery partners (bottom tier).


Licensing Pathway –  ShakeAlert Licensing Pathway (7/2020) [.pdf]

All of our partnership agreements are available for download below.

Once your ShakeAlert partnership agreement is ready for review by the USGS please send it to Esther Eng USGS Technology Transfer Officer at: and Robert de Groot at:

Important Note: Please do not sign a partner agreement until requested by the USGS. Signing is usually the last step in the process. The USGS must review your initial application and once all the details of the agreement are in order a signature will be requested.

Evaluation Partnership

Become a Evaluation Partner if your organization wants to understand how the ShakeAlert System works and the products it produces in order to evaluate if you want to become an end user or product developer. Evaluation Partners take no actions based on ShakeAlert information.

ShakeAlert Evaluation Partnership Agreement (7/2020) [.pdf]

ShakeAlert Evaluation Partnership Agreement (7/2020) [.docx]


Pilot Partnership (with License to Operate Conversion)

Pilot Partners develop and test innovative and creative ways to utilize ShakeAlert data to generate an alert to prompt people to take a protective action such as Drop, Cover, and Hold On or to trigger automated actions such as closing a valve, slowing a train, or opening a firehouse door. The downloadable agreement also contains a statement of work (SOW) form. Successful completion of the SOW will result in a License to Operate.

ShakeAlert Pilot Partnership Agreement and Statement of Work (7/2020) [.pdf]

ShakeAlert Pilot Partnership Agreement and Statement of Work (7/2020) [.docx]


ShakeAlertTechnical Performance Review Criteria for License to Operate Conversion (Draft – 1/2021) [.pdf] – Use this document to better understand technical requirements  for pilot projects that will be addressed during the Pilot to LtO performance review.

License to Operate (LtO) – Limited: for single application only

Do not complete this application unless requested by the USGS. Most ShakeAlert partners will utilize the LtO conversion clause in the Pilot Agreement (above). The goal for all Pilot Partners is to be fully operational under a ShakeAlert License to Operate (LtO). To qualify for an LtO the Pilot Partner must meet USGS mandated speed, reliability, and other technical performance standards including providing appropriate education and training for their end users/customers.

ShakeAlert License to Operate (LtO) Agreement, Application, and Statement of Work (5/2020) [.pdf]

ShakeAlert License to Operate (LtO) Agreement, Application, and Statement of Work (5/2020) [.docx]


Communication, Education, and Outreach (CEO)  Partnership

This agreement is for organizations who are not pursuing a technical implementation of ShakeAlert to partner with the USGS in the development of CEO resources. Partners who already have a Pilot and/or LtO agreement with the USGS do not need to execute this agreement.

ShakeAlert Communication, Education, and Outreach – Agreement, Application, and Statement of Work (6/2020) [.pdf]

ShakeAlert Communication, Education, and Outreach – Agreement, Application, and Statement of Work (6/2020) [.docx]


ShakeAlert Project/LtO Amendment Form

ShakeAlert Amendment Form (8/2020) (.pdf)

ShakeAlert Amendment Form (8/2020) (.docx)


Technical Partnership Regional Coordinator Contact Information:


William Steele (lead) –
Gabriel Lotto –

Lucy Walsh (lead) –
Gabriel Lotto –


Jennifer Strauss (Northern California lead) –
Margaret Vinci (Southern California lead) –

U.S. Geological Survey

Robert de Groot (National) –


  • ShakeAlert technical partners should meet the following criteria:
    • Alerts and actions must be fast enough to be effective. Delays of more than 5 seconds will significantly reduce the value of the alerts.
    • All technical partners must adhere to USGS mandated alerting thresholds.

  • Automated actions
    • must be tolerant of system errors including false, missed, or late alerts and incorrect intensity estimates.
  • Human alerting
    • general public notification via Apps to Wireless Devices is only authorized when the magnitude is 4.5 and larger and to areas expected to experience shaking of  MMI 3 (weak shaking) or greater.
    • people receiving alerts should be trained in how to respond to alerts and understand the limitations of the ShakeAlert system.
    • all messaging, education, and training for prompting people to take a protective action must align with ShakeAlert guidelines.

The ShakeAlert system provides earthquake notification and data streams using internet-based services. The USGS will provide API and data format documentation intended for developers who have a ShakeAlert Pilot Agreement on file. The USGS will also provide password protected access to a ShakeAlert test service (aka Scenario Server) and live streams from the ShakeAlert alert server. The ability of the USGS to provide technical support is very limited.

ShakeAlert is a cooperative project between the USGS, state agencies, and university partners including the University of Washington, the University of Oregon, the University of California, Berkeley, and the California Institute of Technology. We encourage collaboration among all interested parties including Evaluation Users, Pilot Users, LtOs, universities, and government entities.