New Early Warning Earthquake App Can Send Messages Through Fire Alarms

Warning Earthquake App

ABC7 reports on a new piece of technology that is set to improve the response to earthquakes setting up in one of the most tectonically active states in the country.

According to Early Warning Labs' founder, Josh Bashioum, this app was made out of a desire to try and save as many lives as possible when "the big one" finally hits California. He cites estimates by several state universities that claim a massive earthquake is past due by now, and that thousands will be injured or killed when it manifests.

Having placed their sensor technology in a condo in Marina del Rey, Early Warning Labs has partnered with the United States Geological Survey to try and refine their invention before any major disasters happen. Currently, they have over 850 sensors in operation, which will play an audio warning through fire alarms, televisions, digital assistants like Google Home, and more channels with up to a minute's warning before an earthquake.

The sensors can calculate at blinding speeds, with estimates for how long a location has before being affected and how bad the tremors will be presented within about one to two seconds, after which an alert is sent out. As with any disaster, though, every moment counts, so the developers are working hard to try and shave off as much time as possible.

While Early Warning Labs says there are more than enough sensors of this type within the southern part of California, other areas of the state are in desperate need of help. Without good warning systems, an earthquake of any kind would be many times more devastating to that sort of region, with the destruction caused by a massive disaster being unthinkable compared to places like the Bay Area with cutting edge sensors to forewarn people.

Despite major federal cuts to the USGS' funding and the shake alert system, Bashioum claims that state and local representatives are more than happy to foot the bill instead. Even local businesses are supportive of the system, with Regatta Seaside's general manager mentioning how small the cost is despite the "tremendous benefit" involved.

In addition to warnings, the device can also be set to automatically open elevators and garage doors, as well as turn off gas lines. It will also send notifications to integrated cellphones via the app itself, though it cannot be used to warn phones that are turned off or asleep.



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