ORE.- The ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning system will go into effect tomorrow here in Oregon. ShakeAlert offers seconds of advance notice so the public can take action to mitigate injuries and casualties and infrastructure damage.
In a webinar today, experts from across Oregon explained how the alerts work and what the public can anticipate.
They said the amount of warning Oregonians will get will vary depending on their location. But they say those critical seconds not only allow individuals to take cover and get safe, but also help automated critical infrastructure to mitigate damage, like turning off water flow or open the bay doors of fire stations.
The rollout of ShakeAlert tomorrow marks a decade since the Japan earthquake and tsunami, the catalyst for earthquake warning plans in Oregon and across the west coast.
“West coast policy makers advocated to then-President Obama to fully fund shake alert, and those efforts over the years have resulted in continued bipartisan investment in shake alert,” explained Lucy Walsh, Oregon ShakeAlert regional coordinator.
The public alerting will be turned on at 10 a.m. ShakeAlerts will go to your cell phone either through the QuakeAlert app, the Android O, or through the Wireless Emergency Alerts, like the Amber Alerts you get on your phone. You will have to make sure that WEA is turned on in your cell phone settings.
Officials clarified that the Shake Alerts will not be tested tomorrow- they are simply flipping the ‘on’ switch. They hope to test the earthquake alerts later this summer.
Grace Smith is co-anchor for NBC5 News at 6. The Chicago native is a recent graduate of University of Miami with a Communication Honors degree specializing in Broadcast Journalism. She minored in Creative Writing and focused her senior thesis on social media usage and engagement. During her time at the University of Miami, she anchored multiple award-winning student television programs, covering everything from music festivals to the Super Bowl.
Though she loved Miami’s beaches, she’s thrilled to be in the Pacific Northwest where she can experience all four seasons and have a real Christmas tree! When she’s not at work, you can find Grace glued to any television showing live sports (especially if it’s the Chicago Bears) or attempting a new recipe as she learns to cook.