Medford Implements First School District Early Warning Earthquake System

The Medford School District becomes the first school district in the state to fully implement the ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning System. 

The ShakeAlert system works by detecting earthquake waves the moment they reach Earth’s surface and it quickly estimates the location, size and expected shaking from the quake. 

Courtesy of USGS ShakeAlert

The Medford School District implemented ShakeAlert, which is operated by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in early Oct of 2022 and was installed by one of the districts technology partners, Valcom.

Medford could have seconds to tens of seconds of warning before shaking begins from a magnitude 9.0 earthquake on the Cascadia Subduction Zone. Those precious seconds of warning provided by ShakeAlert technology would give students and staff time to get to a safe location and reduce risk of injury.

In the event of an earthquake, Valcom uses information from ShakeAlert to deliver alerts via school intercoms stating, “Earthquake – Earthquake – expect shaking – drop, cover hold on – protect yourself.”

Medford School District officials state that students are already practicing drills using the ShakeAlert System.

Source: MSD549C

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