The USGS ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning System uses earthquake science and technology to detect significant earthquakes quickly so that alerts can reach many people before shaking arrives. The seconds to tens of seconds of advance warning can allow people and systems to take actions to protect life and property from destructive shaking.


From Our Director, Jim Reilly

From Our Director, Jim Reilly

"ShakeAlert—our country’s first public earthquake early warning system will allow citizens, institutions, and managers of essential infrastructure to take timely actions that will save lives and property."

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ShakeAlert in the News

ShakeAlert in the News

Learn more and stay up-to-date about Earthquake Early Warning development in the news, new study examines safety potentials and limts, public lectures, and more. 

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For the News Media

For those of you that are covering the unfolding ShakeAlert story for the Great ShakeOut this week, check out resources that may help in your reporting.

B-Roll: California ShakeAlert Sensor

B-Roll: Northwest ShakeAlert Sensor Station

USGS ShakeAlert Implementation Plan

Dr. Jim Reilly — USGS Director portrait

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Date published: October 16, 2018

The Great ShakeOut! -- 2018 Edition

Do you know what to do the moment the ground starts shaking? Drop, Cover, and Hold On!

Date published: March 27, 2018

Earthquake Early Warning! New Study Examines Safety Potentials and Limits

In a newly published study, U.S. Geological Survey scientists and their partners calculate possible alert times that earthquake early warning systems can provide people at different levels of ground motion from light to very strong shaking.

Date published: January 23, 2018

ShakeAlert: The Path to West Coast Earthquake Early Warning: How a Few Seconds Can Save Lives and Property — Public Lecture

News reporters are invited to attend an illustrated public lecture to learn how U.S. Geological Survey scientists and partners are developing ShakeAlert. The ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system will begin limited operations this year. Alerts could save lives and properties but several challenges remain. With millions at risk, why isn't full public alerting happening yet?


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Year Published: 2018

Revised technical implementation plan for the ShakeAlert system—An earthquake early warning system for the West Coast of the United States

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), along with partner organizations, has developed an earthquake early warning (EEW) system called ShakeAlert for the highest risk areas of the United States: namely, California, Oregon, and Washington. The purpose of the system is to reduce the impact of earthquakes and save lives and property by providing alerts...

Given, Douglas D.; Allen, Richard M.; Baltay, Annemarie S.; Bodin, Paul; Cochran, Elizabeth S.; Creager, Kenneth; de Groot, Robert M.; Gee, Lind S.; Hauksson, Egill; Heaton, Thomas H.; Hellweg, Margaret; Murray, Jessica R.; Thomas, Valerie I.; Toomey, Douglas; Yelin, Thomas S.
Given, D.D., Allen, R.M., Baltay, A.S., Bodin, P., Cochran, E.S., Creager, K., de Groot, R.M., Gee, L.S., Hauksson, E., Heaton, T.H., Hellweg, M., Murray, J.R., Thomas, V.I., Toomey, D., and Yelin, T.S., 2018, Revised technical implementation plan for the ShakeAlert system—An earthquake early warning system for the West Coast of the United States: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1155, 42 p., [Supersedes USGS Open-File Report 2014–1097.]

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Year Published: 2017

Earthquake Early Warning ShakeAlert System: Testing and certification platform

Earthquake early warning systems provide warnings to end users of incoming moderate to strong ground shaking from earthquakes. An earthquake early warning system, ShakeAlert, is providing alerts to beta end users in the western United States, specifically California, Oregon, and Washington. An essential aspect of the earthquake early warning...

Cochran, Elizabeth S.; Kohler, Monica D.; Given, Douglas D.; Guiwits, Stephen; Andrews, Jennifer; Meier, Men-Andrin; Ahmad, Mohammad; Henson, Ivan; Hartog, J. Renate; Smith, Deborah
Cochran, E. S., Kohler, M. D., Given, D. D., Guiwits, S., Andrews, J., Meier, M.-A., Ahmad, M., Henson, I., Hartog, R., Smith, D. E. (2018). Earthquake Early Warning ShakeAlert System: Testing and Certification Platform, Seismological Research Letters, 89 (1), 108–117, doi:

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Year Published: 2017

Earthquake early Warning ShakeAlert system: West coast wide production prototype

Earthquake early warning (EEW) is an application of seismological science that can give people, as well as mechanical and electrical systems, up to tens of seconds to take protective actions before peak earthquake shaking arrives at a location. Since 2006, the U.S. Geological Survey has been working in collaboration with several partners to...

Kohler, Monica D.; Cochran, Elizabeth S.; Given, Douglas D.; Guiwits, Stephen; Neuhauser, Doug; Hensen, Ivan; Hartog, J. Renate; Bodin, Paul; Kress, Victor; Thompson, Stephen; Felizardo, Claude; Brody, Jeff; Bhadha, Rayo; Schwarz, Stan
Monica D. Kohler, Elizabeth S. Cochran, Doug Given, Steve Guiwits, Doug Neuhauser, Ivan Henson, Renate Hartog, Paul Bodin, Victor Kress, Stephen Thompson, Claude Felizardo, Jeff Brody, Rayo Bhadha, Stan Schwarz; Earthquake Early Warning ShakeAlert System: West Coast Wide Production Prototype. Seismological Research Letters ; 89 (1): 99–107. doi: