Eagle Rock High School Implements New Earthquake Warning System
The system is programmed to focus on a very specific location for each end user in order to monitor shaking intensity and trigger a warning.
Eagle Rock High School, in Southern California, is the first public high school in the state to get a new type of earthquake warning system.
The early warning system interfaces with the school’s public announcement system to reach all students, teachers and staff at the same time, reports ABC 7. It will trigger a warning a minute before an earthquake is expected to cause shaking.
When the alarm is triggered, students are taught to “duck, cover and hold,” and then remain alert during an earthquake.
“With this, because it actually feels the first of the two waves and send out that alert, we’re able to get people to drop, cover, and hold on before the shaking even starts,” said Jill Barne, Los Angeles Unified School District executive emergency strategist.
The new system is designed by Early Warning Labs in partnership with the United States Geological Survey for commercial use. So far, it has been installed in the L.A. Metro, elevators, high rises and private schools throughout the city.
“Let’s say you were riding the L.A. Metro during the big earthquake,” said Josh Bashioum, CEO of Early Warning Labs. “If that earthquake was 50, 100 miles closer to L.A., our system would have triggered the staff to slow and stop all the trains in L.A. And that’s the integration that we have available today.”
The system can also calculate the intensity and warning time for customers.
“We forecast the shaking for here. We don’t do it over a wide area, an average. We do it very specific, for the end user, because the shaking intensity can be much different like we saw in this most recent event,” said Bashioum.
Bashioum is referring to the powerful Mojave Desert earthquakes that began on July 5. They had a magnitude level of 7.1 and affected parts of the United States and Mexico.
Over the next few months, two more LAUSD schools will receive the system as part of a pilot program to upgrade school security.