Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

ShakeAlert Steps

Detailed Description

ShakeAlert Steps:

DETECTION AND PROCESSING (USGS) 

Using sensors in the field, the ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning system DETECTS ground motion from an earthquake that has already begun and passes that information to a PROCESSING center. ShakeAlert quickly estimates the location, magnitude, and shaking intensity of the earthquake and if the event fits the right profile, A Shakealert Message is issued by the USGS.  

DELIVER (Distribution Partners)  

Once a ShakeAlert Message is issued, it is picked up by distribution partners, such as utilities, hospitals, transportation systems, schools, emergency management agencies, and others. The contents of the Message are used to produce and DELIEVER an alert that tells people to take protective actions, such as DROP-COVER-HOLD ON, or triggers automated actions.  

PROTECT (Technical Partners) 

The alert protects people and vital infrastructure by instructing computers to trigger automated actions, such as slowing trains, closing water valves, opening firehouse doors, starting back-up generators, and issuing public announcements.  

PROTECT (You) 

You may get an alert to a cell phone through a downloadable app or automatically as a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA), just severe weather and AMBER alerts. You may also get an alert by TV, radio, or as a public announcement. You may only have seconds to take immediate protective actions, such as DROP-COVER-HOLD ON. You may have to adjust to your situation and environment.  

If you feel shaking or get an alert, immediately DROP-COVER-HOLD ON.  Do not wait, because seconds matter! 

Sources/Usage

Public Domain.