The Great Plotnik

Monday, August 25, 2014

Early Warning System

So, if I have this right, the Earthquake Early Warning System can give you ten seconds of warning before an earthquake strikes, if you have the app on your phone, if the phone is on, if you can find your glasses in the middle of the night, if you can then read or hear the message. Presumably, then, you can wake your wife, put on your slippers, grab the dog and go stand under the doorway before anything happens.

Clearly, the designers of this program sleep with their helmets on.  Cuz Seattle, what am I missing?


At 9:26 AM, Blogger mary ann said...

can I pee first?

At 11:30 PM, Anonymous Cousin Seattle said...

Oh goody! Time to talk early warning!

When it is fully implemented, the Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) system will give you a warning, the timing of which is based on the distance you are from the start of the earthquake. In some cases, you would be too close to get any warning (in my experience, that distance has been around 7-8 miles away). In other cases, if you were very far from a very big earthquake, you could get a minute of warning.

However, the EEW system is currently only in use by a select group of scientists (I'm lucky enough to be one of them--I know the right people!), and a few agencies whom are beta testing the system, including BART.

So, right now, the app will not give YOU any warning! In order for it to be of any help to YOU (unless you're on a BART train during an earthquake), it needs a lot more funding. Basically, it's a computer program written by a bunch of scientists. They've been testing how to roll it out to the public, with the assistance of Social Scientists. Apps would need to be developed, and media groups (TV, radio, etc.) would need to implement it. There will need to be an education campaign to make sure people know the correct actions to take in the event of an earthquake (get under a table or desk, cover your head and neck, and hold on to a table leg; most of the time, a doorway isn't the safest place), etc. Did I mention the need for A LOT of funding?

At 9:15 AM, Blogger DAK said...

I guess so, Cuz S., if you say so. Yes, M.A., you can pee first, IF you can do it in less than ten seconds.


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