Educational Resources to support ShakeAlert®, the Earthquake Early Warning System for the West Coast of the United States: Development and Assessment

Friday 11:15-11:45am PT / 12:15-12:45pm MT / 1:15-1:45pm CT / 2:15-2:45pm ET Online


Shelley Olds, UNAVCO
Danielle Sumy, IRIS Consortium
Jennifer Crayne, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

Over 143 million people live in an earthquake prone region of the United States. Over 55 million people (or one-third) live in Washington, Oregon, and California, face much of this earthquake hazard and risk. In light of this, the U.S. Geological Survey and partners developed the Advanced National Seismic System's ShakeAlert® Earthquake Early Warning system for the West Coast of the United States to detect significant earthquakes quickly. A ShakeAlert Message is sent to delivery partners to alert people and automated systems. IRIS and UNAVCO, in collaboration with the USGS and ShakeAlert® system partners at large, are developing a suite of educational activities and animations designed to inform and engage multiple audiences, from middle school students through senior citizens in a range of learning environments.

The suite of learning materials provides learners in formal and free-choice settings with a suite of scientifically accurate educational resources on earthquake hazards, particularly on the west coast. Short (2-3 minute) animations and scaffolded activities address earthquake concepts, related natural hazards (e.g., tsunamis, volcanoes, and landslides), mitigation and planning, and how earthquake early warning works. Animations show learners what to do in the event of an earthquake, how to respond to a ShakeAlert system message, and how the Shakelert system works. Each activity provides 5-, 15-, and 30-45 minute options to fit various learning settings. Activities address misconceptions about earthquakes, such as the relationship between an earthquake's magnitude and its intensity. Partners at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry are leading ongoing evaluation and assessment of the effectiveness of our educational resources and to help build our resources with cultural inclusion in mind.

Here we present the ShakeAlert educational activities and animations, available through, developed to date, and our preliminary assessment tools.

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