Earthquake Early Warning System goes live in Oregon this week
Written by Patrick Schneider on March 9, 2021
Salem, Ore. – ShakeAlert® Earthquake Early Warning System, an earthquake detection tool operated by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), goes live in Oregon on March 11, 2021.
No sign up is required to receive ShakeAlert notifications, and the only action needed is to enable emergency alerts through a cell phone’s settings. For instructions on where to find these settings, visit ORShakeAlert.us.
ShakeAlert uses science and technology to detect significant earthquakes quickly and sends a real time alert to people via their cell phone before shaking arrives at their location. These important alerts come automatically on most cell phones, making a distinctive sound and displaying a text message that reads, “Earthquake detected! Drop, cover, hold on. Protect yourself.” This message is also available in Spanish for phones set to receive alerts in that language.
“Recent disasters that have impacted our state have taught us the importance of being prepared,” Oregon Office of Emergency Management Director Andrew Phelps said. “ShakeAlert notifications can offer critical seconds of warning before we feel the impacts of an earthquake, giving people a chance to take action to protect themselves.”
ShakeAlert does not predict when or where an earthquake will occur or how long it will last. It detects earthquakes that have already begun, offering seconds of advance warning that allow people and systems to take actions to protect life and property from destructive shaking. The system can also be used to trigger automated actions such as closing a gas valve or slowing a train, actions that can prevent infrastructure failures in the aftermath of an earthquake.