California Institute of Technology

Education & Implementation

The CISN ShakeAlert Display has been developed as a tool to bring Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) to potential users. These warnings can be used as information or to perform an operation that will impact personal safety, provide awareness and reduce losses to critical infrastructures.

In both Northern and Southern California the role of the CISN ShakeAlert Education and Implementation Group is to reach out to potential users of Earthquake Early Warning in an effort to recruit them as Beta Testers of the ShakeAlert Display and provide essential feedback to developers on the perceived benefits, barriers, uses, operational costs and savings to their organization.

The CISN ShakeAlert Education and Implementation Group will provide education and support to ShakeAlert Beta Test Users and continue to recruit potential users.


Peggy Hellweg, UC Berkeley and Margaret Vinci, Caltech Seismological Laboratories

Implementation Plan

Shake Alert Display Recruitment of trusted partners to investigate real-world performance to test ShakeAlerts and document their feedback for research and development and identify the following:

  • Necessary needs for each user to implement ShakeAlert
  • Understand earthquake risk within their organization
  • How will ShakeAlert be useful to the organization
  • Identify delivery mechanisms
  • Industry-by-industry assessment of uses for early warning
  • Cost benefit analyses in the context of shaking risk
  • Cost to the organization to implement ShakeAlert
  • Develop templates and instructions for users of early warning
  • Limitations of system
  • Make adjustments to ShakeAlert based on User feedback

Selection of Beta Test User Group participants and key contact people in Northern and Southern California will be based on the following criteria:

  • Trusted organizations that will be key users of early warning and able to provide the time, manpower and equipment necessary to perform the necessary tests of ShakeAlert and provide quality feedback regarding the operation, usage and delivery mechanism of the system. Beta Test Users need to utilize ShakeAlert in their daily operations.
  • Key personnel identified within the organization to approve and facilitate a plan to activate ShakeAlert and provide feedback from their team of users
  • Understanding that ShakeAlert is a system under development with limitations on the current system (robustness, network coverage), uncertainties in earthquake parameters and reporting (false positives and negatives) and user tolerance of uncertainties

Dissemination of the ShakeAlert Display Tool will be conducted on a one-on-one basis providing information about the project to include:

  • Overview of project including partners, three methodologies, decision module, utilization of ShakeAlert user display, limitations and delivery mechanisms
  • Expectations from the users to
  • Provide regular feedback
  • Ability to provide the proper software and manpower to run and monitor the program
  • Participation in regularly scheduled discussions
  • Trusted not to share product outside the working group

Feedback: Regular interaction with members of the user test groups will be made to provide support and receive feedback on the implementation and uses of the alerts

  • Regular telephone conference calls with Beta Test group to initiate discussions regarding the utilization of the ShakeAlert Display
  • Web site set up for Beta Test Users to communicate with Caltech/Berkeley developers on a regular basis to capture comments and make adjustments throughout the test period

Final user test group workshop and debriefing discussion to evaluate suggestions for operational and technical improvements, determine potential uses for ShakeAlert by the individual industries, input regarding expected reduction in damage, financial savings and employee and public safety from incorporating alerts into their operations.

EEW Applications

Public safety – Get into a safe place to protect yourself
Employee and emergency responder safety
Mass transit
Open elevator doors
Shut down caustic chemicals
Notify employees enroute
Amusement parks
Shut down dangerous operating equipment
Protect goods from damage and loss, etc.


Short-term - The CISN ShakeAlert Education and Implementation Group will assist users in implementing ShakeAlert and educate them on the uses and benefits of earthquake early warning through presentations and hands-on workshops.

Long Term - Work in collaboration with the Caltech Earthquake Research Affiliates and the USGS to provide critical information and updates on the science of earthquakes and on all CISN earthquake tools to assist in the reduction of losses and resiliency of California’s infrastructure.

Public/Private Partnerships - Encourage and facilitate public/private partnerships which will be an integral part of the success of EEW

General Information

Early Warning FAQs

Download EEW Fact Sheet