You, your smartphone and the Big One: How to digitally prepare for the next big earthquake

Source(s): The Mercury News

By Seung Lee

As evidenced in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico following three different hurricanes, disasters can wipe away Wi-Fi and cellular data infrastructure, making modern technology obsolete. Twenty-eight years ago Tuesday, the 6.9 magnitude Loma Prieta Earthquake did major damage to the Bay Area — albeit at a time when the internet was not prevalent. And this month we have seen ravaging wildfires in the North Bay wipe out smartphone and internet service.

But some forward thinking and a few smartphone apps can be a valuable companion to navigate a disaster and its aftermath — even when there is little to no data connection.

“We try to tell people it’s important to have a plan,” said Jennifer Strauss, UC Berkeley’s Seismology Lab’s external relations officer. “With all the tech we are exposed to, we get caught up in the idea that everything is readily available. Tech goes hand in hand with preparedness.”

Strauss and her team in Berkeley in 2016 launched the MyShake app, which allows smartphones to detect earthquakes using built-in sensors and send warning alerts to users near the shaking. Akin to step-counting fitness apps, MyShake runs silently in the background looking for seismic tremors and collecting data.


Country & Region
Share this

Is this page useful?

Yes No Report an issue on this page

Thank you. If you have 2 minutes, we would benefit from additional feedback (link opens in a new window).

Please note: Content is displayed as last posted by a PreventionWeb community member or editor. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of UNDRR, PreventionWeb, or its sponsors. See our terms of use