Earthquake Warning for Imperial County

Existing technology, public/private partnering

ICREWS 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 over 13 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 Imperial County Earthquake Warning System (ICREWS) will deliver earthquake warning to first responders. It is a partnership between the Imperial County Board of Supervisors and Seismic Warning Systems. It will provide earthquake warning to 20 fire stations, police stations, hospitals, and the irrigation district.

What will it do?

The ICREWS project will provide earthquake warning for fire and police stations, hospitals, and important sites of the Imperial irrigation system. 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 Imperial County.

How will it work?

Seismic sensors will be placed along the known faults in the county, focusing on the BrawleyA seismically active area in the northern part of Imperial County responsible for many swarms and moderate earthquakes., ImperialA fault in southern Imperial County that produced several magnitude 6.0 and larger earthquakes in the last 100 years., and San JacintoThis fault system has a 31% in 30 years chance of a magnitude 6.7 or greater earthquake. fault zones, and near the Mexican border. These sensors detect the start of an earthquake, analyze the earthquake's intensity, and provide the information needed to deliver a warning throughout the county. 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?

A plan for distributing alerts in each of the selected locations is being developed. This includes selection of alert devices, creating training and drilling programs, and determining how to ensure that everyone can hear the alerts.

When will it be available?

In 2014, the Imperial County Board of Supervisors awarded a contract to Seismic Warning Systems for the installation of earthquake warning appliances in selected facilities. The official launch of the project was on April 25, 2014.

Partners making this happen

Imperial County Board of Supervisors

Imperial County Irrigation District

Seismic Warning Systems, Inc.

Facilities getting earthquake warning

6 fire stations: City of Calipatria and Imperial County

7 fire/police dispatch centers: Brawley, El Centro, Calexico

Imperial County sheriff's office

Pioneers Memorial Hospital

El Centro Regional Medical Center

4 Imperial County Irrigation District offices

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