Earthquake Warning for the Coachella Valley

Existing technology, public/private partnering

CREWS Map 2014
CC-Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0/SWS

We are constructing an earthquake warning system in California using the same technology that has served our customers for 15 years. Earthquake warning needs to be delivered to places where it is most needed, like schools, hospitals, and other public facilities. This has been our focus from the start: delivering warning where it can do the most good.

The plan for California includes partnering with local and regional governments to provide earthquake warning to public facilities. The first of these partnerships is focused on public schools, fire and police stations, hospitals, and water utilities.

The Coachella Valley Earthquake Warning System (CREWS) was the first regional system announced. It is a partnership between the Coachella Valley Association of Governments (CVAG) and Seismic Warning Systems. It will provide earthquake warning services for 85 public schools in 3 school districts and protect first responders.

What will it do?

The CREWS project will provide earthquake warning for all public schools, fire and police stations, dispatch centers, and emergency operation centers. Audible alerts will tell people to drop, cover, and hold on. In some locations, such as fire stations, equipment will be controlled to prevent damage. Once these initial locations are protected, earthquake warning will be offered to all businesses, organizations, and individuals in the Coachella Valley.

How will it work?

Seismic sensors will be placed along the known faults to the east and west of the valley, focusing on the San AndreasThe longest fault in California has a 59% in 30 years in Southern California and a 21% chance in Northern California of producing a magnitude 6.7 or greater earthquake. and the San JacintoThis fault system has a 31% in 30 years chance of a magnitude 6.7 or greater earthquake. fault zones. These sensors detect the start of an earthquake, analyze the earthquake's intensity, and provide the information needed to deliver a warning throughout the valley. This process is very fast, well under 1 second after the first ground motions occur, and before the serious ground motions arrive anywhere.

What's the next step?

Once funding has been received, the plan for deployment in each of the public locations will be developed. This plan includes installation of earthquake warning receivers, alert distribution within each facility or campus, and training, education, and outreach programs.

When will it be available?

The partners have all agreed to the project. Funding for the installation of earthquake warning appliances in the public facilities should be awarded soon.

Partners making this happen

12 cities in the Coachella Association of Governments

Palm Springs Unified School District

Desert Sands Unified School District

Coachella Valley Unified School District

Coachella Valley Emergency Managers Association

Eastern Riverside County Interoperable Communications Authority

Seismic Warning Systems, Inc.

Facilities getting earthquake warning

32 in Palm Springs Unified School District

36 in Desert Sands Unified School District

22 in Coachella Valley Unified School District

37 fire stations (15 are already installed)

4 healthcare facilities

7 police stations

4 police/fire dispatch centers (already installed)

3 Tribal Emergency Operations Centers

Explore other regional
earthquake warning