If you live in Southern California, live under the reign of the Quake Gods. At any time, they can express their displeasure with an earthquake. Some of them have proven to be devastating. Until recently, science was unable to anticipate earthquakes. But Southern Californians can now possibly get some advance warning of any tremblor exceeding 5.0 on the Richter Scale. All it takes is an app.
This isn’t any ordinary app. It’s one created by the USGS, in association with a group of universities and research institutions to secure funding and build out the sensor network for the ShakeAlert program. This program provides the seismic data to the app, which was created by the City of Los Angles. The initial goal of the ShakeAlert system was to create an early warning system for the entire West Coast, but federal dollars to pay for development were repeatedly zeroed out during budgeting. So, for now it is limited to Los Angeles. However, since almost any 5.0+ quake in the LA basin is likely felt elsewhere in SoCal (and vice versa). So, if you live outside of Los Angeles, get your friends and acquaintance who live in LA to download this app. In return, ask them to text you if the alert goes off.
Sure, there may be some false alarms. And the system isn’t foolproof. But even seconds of advance warning can make a difference….or save a life. Check out the app online at this LA City site, or download it directly on to your phone by searching for shakealertla.