MSD first to implement statewide ShakeAlert system

MEDFORD, Ore. —The Medford School District says it’s leading the state in implementing an earthquake early warning system. The district says safety and security are its core values, that’s why it’s investing in the project. It’s the first in the state to fully implement the ShakeAlert system.

Every school in the district has the technology designed to give early warnings of an earthquake. Facilities Director Ron Havniear says this is a step the district can take to protect people, and respond effectively to an event.

“When the time for execution comes, the time for preparation is over but that foundation for preparation helps us respond better but in some circumstances, deter the cascading effects of a bigger disaster,” said Havniear.

The ShakeAlert system is operated by the U.S. Geological Survey. The school district says it’s the first in the state to fully implement this technology. Ms. Guaderama’s 4th-grade class put it into practice. Student Ellie Modjeski admits she was nervous about the drill but says drills like these are important.

“So we know what to do and stay protected and safe,” said Modjeski.

The system works by detecting earthquake waves, the moment they reach the earth’s surface, and estimates the location and size of the quake.

“As soon as an earthquake is detected the system gives kids time to protect themselves in the event of really severe shaking and that can save lives and reduce injuries when an earthquake inevitably hits,” said Kelly Missett with the ShakeAlert Early Warning System.

MSD Superintendent Bret Champion says safety is one of the district’s top priorities.

“It’s not a question of if this is going to happen at some point but when, and so we are looking for every second that we can find,” said Champion.

Several other organizations have championed ShakeAlert like the Rogue Valley Council of Governments, and the Oregon Office of Emergency Management.

NBC5 News Reporter Jenna King is a Burbank native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at the U of O, she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through interning with the PAC 12 Network. When Jenna is not in the newsroom you can find her rooting for her hometown Dodgers, exploring the outdoors, or binging on the latest Netflix release.
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