The City of Los Angeles has worked with the US Geological Survey (USGS) to be part of the Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) System through a mobile application (app) which detects earthquakes and can prompt alerts before shaking arrives.
The City’s ShakeAlertLA app sends alerts to subscribed users within Los Angeles County that an earthquake of greater than magnitude 5.0 or level IV intensity has been detected and that the identified area may soon feel shaking. The app is now available for download from the Google Play Store (for Android) and from the Apple App Store (for Apple/iPhone). In the app store, type in ShakeAlertLA in the search bar to find and download the app. The app is available in both English and Spanish.
Features of the app include useful information for residents and property owners in the City of Los Angeles with tips on preparing for an earthquake - such as making a plan and building a kit, recommendations on what residents may need to do after the shaking stops - such as checking for local area for hazards, turning off the water and gas, and finding shelter nearby. The app also includes an earthquake alert map and a list of recent earthquakes.
ShakeAlertLA can provide users with critical seconds of warning that an earthquake has begun and shaking is imminent. In those precious seconds, individuals and families can take actions to protect themselves, such as identifying the best place to drop, cover and hold on. Properties can stop elevators on the nearest floor and open their doors to let people out before the shaking starts. Trains can slow down and come to a stop, preventing derailment.
The app depends on hundreds of sensors that collect data around earthquake faults. When the sensors detect strong enough seismic activity, a notification is pushed out to users’ phones. The farther that app users are from the earthquake’s epicenter, the more advance warning they may receive.
Subscribers are encouraged to view details and the benefits of the app use.
Image: ShakeAlertLA, City of Los Angeles
By EJ Martinez
Editor: Sandra Mendoza