Quake system launches in Oregon, preparing residents for “Big One”

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HOUSTON (CW39) Oregon is known to be one of those states most likely to see earthquake activity. In response, they’ve launched a warning system called Shake Alert to notify when those shakes are happening in real time.

The purpose of the program is to alert users when an earthquake is active. Shake Alert is operated by the U.S. Geological Survey and is managed through sensors to detect significant earthquakes. The system does not have the capability to predict an earthquake but it does offer seconds of advance warning when one is in progress.

Althea Rizzo, geologic hazards program coordinator for Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management says, “We know at some point we’re going to have an earthquake that’s over 9.0 from the Cascadia Subduction Zone, so this is one way that we can help Oregonians prepare for these kinds of earthquakes. It also feeds into our preparedness messaging because we want people to have at least 2 weeks worth of food, and so that if they have a large event they’re able to be on their own.

Shake Alert is already active in California and will start up in Washington next month. There’s no sign up necessary to get the alerts but users do need to make sure their emergency alerts are enabled on cell phones. Click here for more instructions on how to get setup.

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