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Education initiatives to support earthquake early warning; a retrospective and a roadmap

Danielle F. Sumy, Mariah R. Jenkins, Jenny Crayne, Shelley E. Olds, Megan L. Anderson, Jenda Johnson, Bonnie Magura, Cynthia L. Pridmore and Robert-Michael de Groot
Education initiatives to support earthquake early warning; a retrospective and a roadmap
Seismological Research Letters (September 2022) 93 (6): 3498-3513


As of May 2021, public alerting is now operational for the ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system for the West Coast of the United States in California, Oregon, and Washington. Successful early warning systems require the scientific and technical implementation to be coupled with social and humanitarian considerations, including education and outreach campaigns. Community engagement with the over 50 million people who live in ShakeAlert states is important to increase public safety, security, and awareness of local earthquake hazards, how to prepare, and how ShakeAlert earthquake early warning can help. Here, we describe the efforts of the ShakeAlert Educational Resources Working Group around the rollout of public alerting in the Pacific Northwest for Oregon in March 2021 and Washington in May 2021, respectively. Our initial approach was to engage in formative dialogue with community members in each ShakeAlert state, develop educational activities and animations based on the collective feedback, and then to disseminate our resources in both formal (K-16) and informal (free choice) learning environments through workshops and outreach events. The rollout of public alerting in the Pacific Northwest provided an opportunity to directly engage with various publics around a specific event, and to collaborate with local news and social media, communications and social science professionals, educators, emergency managers, and scientific and technical experts on the ShakeAlert system. Following the rollouts, we developed a strategic plan for the next five years of ShakeAlert to promote earthquake early warning, as the importance of earthquake preparedness competes with the stressors of everyday life. Because earthquake early warning systems are rapidly expanding worldwide, our education and outreach efforts provide a roadmap for building successful education and outreach campaigns, leading up to public alerting and maintaining earthquake preparedness in the public consciousness following rollout.

ISSN: 0895-0695
EISSN: 1938-2057
Serial Title: Seismological Research Letters
Serial Volume: 93
Serial Issue: 6
Title: Education initiatives to support earthquake early warning; a retrospective and a roadmap
Affiliation: Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology, Washington D.C., United States
Pages: 3498-3513
Published: 20220928
Text Language: English
Publisher: Seismological Society of America, El Cerrito, CA, United States
References: 54
Accession Number: 2022-056192
Categories: Seismology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 3 tables
Secondary Affiliation: U. S. Geological Survey, USA, United StatesOregon Museum of Science and Industry, USA, United StatesUNAVCO, USA, United StatesWashington Geological Survey, USA, United StatesEarth Sciences Animated, USA, United StatesIndependent Contractor, USA, United StatesCalifornia Geological Survey, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2024, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, Copyright, Seismological Society of America. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 202242
Program Name: SDG 04Quality Education
Program Name: SDG 11Sustainable Cities and Communities
Program Name: USGSOPNon-USGS publications with USGS authors
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