The May 2021 earthquake early warning public alerting roll-out by ShakeAlert™ in Washington State marks three years since RH2 installed the Pacific Northwest’s first ShakeAlert™ application for a water district in Washington. With the public roll-out in view, RH2’s ShakeAlert™ projects lead, Taylor Stockton, said, “RH2 does not provide public alerting capabilities, but public alerting relies on the same ShakeAlert™ technology that RH2 has helped prove across Oregon and Washington. RH2 believes that our work with utility clients and their expanding use of ShakeAlert™ shows the value of this earthquake early warning system.”
Seeing the value in ShakeAlert™, RH2 partnered with the United States Geological Survey and Pacific Northwest Seismic Network to become a program pilot partner in 2017. Since then, RH2 has:
Developed a patent-pending Advanced Seismic Controller for harnessing the ShakeAlert™ signal
Connected 13 different municipalities, water/wastewater districts, and other utilities to receive the ShakeAlert™ warnings and assisted in planning and programing response actions
Demonstrated success in piloting to receive full License to Operate
Promoted ShakeAlert™ through numerous industry and public forums
ShakeAlert™ technical partners such as RH2 use high-speed internet and a control device to receive ShakeAlert™ signals within 3 seconds of an earthquake start. This is quicker than is possible with public wireless emergency alerts and thus provides more time for action. Mr. Stockton said, “Every extra second of warning can be used by an automated system to protect life and critical resources.”
RH2’s clients have set up their control systems to take one or more of the following actions:
Closing valves to preserve stored drinking water;
Shutting down equipment to reduce infrastructure damage; and
Other automated actions to reduce the human and infrastructure impact from significant earthquake shaking.
RH2 is excited to see the public roll-out of ShakeAlert™ coincide with its own successful three-year anniversary of ShakeAlert™ application for critical utility systems.
From seismic planning, earthquake early warning systems, performance assessments, to retrofits and seismic designs, we offer a full suite of seismic resilience services to strengthen our infrastructure and provide long-term viability for our communities. To learn more, click the Risk & Resilience Button at the top of this post.