ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning

Education and Training Materials for formal and informal learning settings

Over 143 million people live in an earthquake-prone region of the United States. The states of Washington, Oregon, and California face one-third of this earthquake hazard and risk. A moderate-to-large magnitude earthquake in dense population centers such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, or Seattle has the potential to cause severe damage which could threaten the national economy and its security. In light of these potential risks, the United States Geological Survey, in partnership with state emergency management agencies, geological surveys, and academic partners, developed and implemented the Advanced National Seismic Systems’ ShakeAlert® earthquake early warning system for the west coast of the United States.

How does ShakeAlert® work? Find out here!

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 many learning environments. Our suite of educational resources aims to present factual information about earthquake hazards and explain why the west coast is earthquake-prone. We also will address misconceptions about earthquakes, such as the relationship between an earthquake’s magnitude and its intensity. Finally, we will demonstrate through several different short (2-3 minute) animations what to do in the event of an earthquake and how to respond to a ShakeAlert® system message.

Limited Use Copyright©: Most IRIS resources reside in the public domain and may be used without restriction. When using information from IRIS classroom activities, animations, information products, publications, or Web sites, we ask that proper credit be given. Acknowledging or crediting IRIS as an information source can be accomplished by including a line of text such “produced by the IRIS Consortium” or by incorporating IRIS’s logo ( into the design. IRIS’s URL ( may also be added.