The app is based on seismic data from a West Coast-wide network of sensors that detect earthquakes
The city of Los Angeles is piloting an app with AT&T that will send push notifications to citizens that an earthquake has occurred, potentially giving them critical seconds of notice before shaking reaches them.
ShakeAlertLA alerts users when seismic activity equal to or greater than magnitude 5.0 is detected by a regional sensor network. It includes maps that help users visualise the earthquake’s epicentre in relation to where they are. The app also has tools to build a readiness plan, equip citizens with local response information and deliver details on support services for recovery efforts.
When an earthquake happens, the app will send a notification that warns: EARTHQUAKE! EARTHQUAKE! Drop. Cover. Hold On. Protect Yourself Now! It is based on seismic data from a West Coast-wide network of sensors that detect earthquakes. The sensors are placed along fault lines and send data to United States Geological Survey (USGS) scientists.
When an earthquake strikes, information is sent to the app and pushed as an alert to active app subscribers. The farther a ShakeAlertLA user is from the epicentre of an earthquake, the greater the warning that user may receive, while a user who is located closer to the epicentre may receive less warning. Users may receive the alert before, during, or after shaking.
“Angelenos should have every chance to protect themselves and their families when there’s a major earthquake,” said Mayor Garcetti. “We created the ShakeAlertLA app because getting a few seconds’ heads-up can make a big difference if you need to pull to the side of the road, get out of an elevator, or drop, cover, and hold on.”
These alerts can help residents and city officials take protective actions like taking cover from falling debris and halting public transit systems to limit damage and injuries.
“Angelenos should have every chance to protect themselves and their families when there’s a major earthquake”
After an earthquake, residents can use the app to find various emergency services like where to seek shelter if your home is damaged or unsafe.
“ShakeAlertLA brings together a wealth of information that is easy-to-access and user-friendly for consumers,” said Rhonda Johnson, president of AT&T California. “Mobile technology is being used more to provide fast, available information. We’re very proud to be working alongside Mayor Garcetti and his team to build a robust solution designed to help improve public safety in Los Angeles.”
AT&T and Los Angeles are also working together to use technology to solve problems such as traffic congestion and to improve public safety. This ranges from digital kiosks to structural monitoring and digital infrastructure, across the city, including in under-served neighbourhoods.
ShakeAlertLA is free and offers both English and Spanish versions. The app is available now for download on iOS and Android smartphones and can be used on any carrier’s network.
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