Evidence-based guidelines for protective actions and earthquake early warning systems

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Society of Exploration Geophysicists
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Earthquake early warning (EEW) systems are becoming increasingly available or are in development throughout the world. As these systems develop, it is important to provide evidence-based recommendations for protective action so people know how to protect themselves when they receive an alert. However, many factors need to be considered when developing contextually relevant and appropriate recommendations. We have reviewed earthquake injury reports, protective action and communication theories, and behavioral research to determine what factors can guide inquiry and decision making when developing protective action guidelines. Factors that emerge from relevant literature include: (1) social, cultural, and environmental context, such as which people are present, what their social roles are, and in what type of building they are located when an earthquake happens, (2) demographic and experiential variables, such as gender and age as well as previous history with earthquakes; and (3) magnitude and intensity that influence the duration and impacts of the earthquake itself. Although we examine data from around the world, we focus largely on evidence-based recommendations for the U.S. system, ShakeAlert, because it provides a timely case study for understanding how people receive and respond to EEW messages. In addition to synthesizing relevant literature, we recommend pathways forward for this interdisciplinary research community that explores EEW and its application around the world. Consistency in collecting and reporting injury data globally may assist in aligning this fragmented literature to develop a richer understanding of how demographic, cultural, seismic, engineering, and technological issues can be addressed to reduce human suffering due to earthquakes.
(c) The Author/s
McBride SK, Smith H, Morgoch M, Sumy D, Jenkins M, Peek L, Bostrom A, Baldwin D, Reddy E, De Groot R, Becker J, Johnston D, Wood M. (2022). Evidence-based guidelines for protective actions and earthquake early warning systems. Geophysics. 87. 1. (pp. WA77-WA102).