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San Diego County's new app sends early earthquake warnings

Those precious seconds can help keep you safe
ShakeReadySD SD Emergency app.png
Posted at 4:28 PM, Aug 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-25 20:56:45-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV)-- Every second counts when preparing for a disaster. San Diegans can now better prepare for earthquakes with a new feature in the County's 'SD Emergency' app.

When it comes to dealing with disasters, knowledge is power. The County of San Diego has an app for that.

"For earthquakes, fires, floods, terrorism, extreme weather, our 'SD Emergency' app is a one-of-a-kind tool designed to provide all San Diegans valuable information before, during, and after disasters, all in the palm of your hand," Director of San Diego County Office of Emergency Services, Jeff Toney, said.

Wednesday, the County announced the launch of a new feature in the app called 'Shakeready SD.'

"When motion is detected, the 'Shakealert' system kicks into action. It's all completely automatic," Robert Degroot with the US Geological Survey said.

It uses more than 770 USGS seismic sensors across the state to alert people seconds before an earthquake with magnitude 4.5 or shake intensity of three or greater is about to hit. What you do in those precious seconds can mean life or death.

"Those few seconds could make the difference between pulling under an overpass, being near a glass window, or finding a safe place to be," San Diego CALFIRE Chief, Tony Mecham said.

The County spent $475,000 to develop this technology. But it is not limited to notifications in San Diego.

"It's designed to work anywhere in California," Toney said. "So if you're in the Bay Area, near a large earthquake, you'll get the same alert as you would right here in San Diego."

Even after the shaking ends, the app will continue to provide important notifications.

"It will guide you to where you need to go for evacuation routes or other information. This is an incredible app, and we're encouraging all San Diegans to take advantage of it," Nathan Fletcher, Chair of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, said.

The app is free to download on apple or android phones. For more information, click HERE.