On Thursday, lawmakers proposed $22.9 million for the early earthquake warning system, which is currently under construction on the West Coast. The new proposed budget doubles last year’s budget of $10.2 million.
“The significant funding provided in the bill will help ensure that the West Coast has a functioning earthquake early warning system in the near future,” Rep. Ken Calvert, chairman of a House subcommittee said in a statement.
“I will continue to be a champion for this life-saving technology that can have a significant impact when big earthquakes strike. Let’s take the steps we can to save Americans from preventable injuries during natural disasters,” Calvert added.
The newly proposed budget will cover $10 million for the actual construction of the system and $12.9 million for continual development of it.
For now, the U.S. Geological Survey’s early earthquake warning system bill will move to the senate for another vote.
“This system will not only help protect infrastructure and businesses, but also prevent injuries and save lives across California, Oregon and Washington,” Burbank Rep. Adam Schiff said in a statement.
Those who live in California know it’s earthquake country, which is why these seismic stations are so important for the detection of earthquake activity to save lives and prevent damage.
In San Francisco, a prototype of the early earthquake warning system provided an 8-second warning before the shaking of a 6.0 magnitude earthquake in Napa.
While the budget victory in the house shows progress, there is still a ways to go. It’s estimated that the complete system will cost $39.2 million to build along the West Coast and $16.1 million to maintain.
Once completed, the USGS is hoping to install notifications in hospitals, fire stations, schools, malls and other heavily populated areas.
The shaking of an earthquake travels at the speed of sound through rock, which is slower than the speed of today’s communication systems – making it completely feasible to notify the public with enough time to exit unsafe structures, stop trains and halt surgeries.
While the system is still under construction, it’s important that if you live in California you are taking the necessary proactive steps to protect yourself and your home from earthquake damage.
If you have any concerns about your home’s foundation, contact Julian Construction to schedule a free inspection. Foundation issues, left unchecked, will only get more damaging and expensive with time.
Julian De La Torre is an expert in Los Angeles foundation inspection, foundation contractors and foundation repair. Julian’s company, Julian Construction, has inspected over 15,000 structures, working with engineering firms and local departments of building & safety. The company has done more foundation repair and earthquake retrofitting in Los Angeles than any other company in the area over the last five years.