ShakeAlert® – Phase 1

In the fall of 2018 the West Coast ShakeAlert® Earthquake Early Warning System became sufficiently functional and tested to begin Phase 1 of alerting in California, Oregon, and Washington. Several commercial and institutional users are alerting personnel and taking automated actions; an important step in a strategy of phased roll out leading to full public operation.

Broader public alerting at the magnitude 5.0 level will begin when existing mass alerting technologies are able to deliver ShakeAlerts at the speed or scale needed for effective earthquake early warning. ShakeAlert® partners are working with both public and private mass alert system operators including FEMA, cellular carriers, mass notification companies, and others to provide that functionality. Finally, the public has not yet been educated about the System and how to respond to ShakeAlerts when they are delivered.

In addition to these Phase 1 implementations, technical improvements in the system are also part of the story. The sensor network has reached target density in the Los Angeles, Bay Area, and Seattle metro regions and version 2.0 of the alert production system has been deployed. This updated version of the ShakeAlert® System produces both point source and line source earthquake solutions, has added ground motion estimation products,  and the number of false and missed events has been reduced. The version 2.0 system has also satisfied government cybersecurity requirements and includes improved operational procedures.