PBS's KVIE Tests California Earthquake Early Warning System

SACRAMENTO, CA & WASHINGTON—KVIE, the public television station in Sacramento, last month delivered the first-ever earthquake alert in less than three seconds during a test of the California Earthquake Early Warning System.

“KVIE was honored to partner with Cal OES [California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services] to conduct this critical field trial of earthquake early warnings in California,” said David Lowe, station president and GM. “This work is part of KVIE’s commitment to public service and public safety.”

KVIE, which took part in the test Sept. 18, is one of several California public broadcasters that are participating. Others include PBS SoCal in Los Angeles, KPBS in San Diego, KQED in San Francisco and Valley PBS in Fresno.

This network of full-power, data-capable OTA transmitters will carry low-latency CEEWS alerts in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Fresno and Sacramento. The stations’ infrastructure has been hardened to ensure communications services survive during all types of natural disasters.

[Read: Research: Americans Want Public Broadcasting To Provide Earthquake Early Warnings]

America’s Public Television Stations (APTS) and Eagle Hill Consulting have worked with Cal OES to develop robust, high-speed data delivery capability to handle early earthquake warnings to California’s most highly populated areas. Seismic sensors, data processing centers and end-user distribution mechanisms are employed to warn people, institutions and infrastructure operators when an earthquake is detected.

More information is available on the APTS website.

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.