Public Release: 

Vital seconds -- the journey toward earthquake early warning for all

American Geosciences Institute

Alexandria, VA - Americans are reminded in September to be prepared for natural hazards during "National Preparedness Month." A major goal of preparedness is to provide early warnings for earthquakes. Earthquake early warning (EEW) is exactly what it says: It is an early warning that shaking is coming and it can typically give a few seconds to a few minutes, at most, of warning. The warnings can be sent off just after an earthquake occurs on a fault, but before the damaging secondary waves are felt. It is not earthquake prediction. Even if it only provides seconds of warning, that can be enough for people to drop, cover, and hold on, or for trains to stop, elevator doors to open or nuclear stations to halt operations before the ground starts shaking.

In the October cover story, EARTH Magazine explores the development of EEW systems in California, Oregon and Washington. Learn about how EEW systems work, who gets to beta test them, and how the scientists and engineers are navigating the waters of the public policy-science interface in EARTH Magazine:

EARTH Magazine is filled with stories on exciting and cutting-edge research, including a feature on mitigating the harmful effects of contaminated urban soils, news about the Kennewick Man's closest genetic relations, and a story on how declining U.S. water use is challenging traditional models, and much more!


Keep up to date with the latest happenings in Earth, energy and environment news with EARTH Magazine online at: Published by the American Geosciences Institute, EARTH is your source for the science behind the headlines.

The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 250,000 geologists, geophysicists and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in the profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources, resiliency to natural hazards, and interaction with the environment.

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