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Americans say government should invest in early warning technology

Staff Writer |
New public opinion research finds that the overwhelming majority of Americans want public television to play a role in providing earthquake early warnings.

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Commissioned by Eagle Hill Consulting, the research also finds strong public support for government investment in early warning technology.

93 percent of Americans want the public broadcasting system to help provide an early warning when an earthquake strikes, and 96 percent of Californians agree.

The vast majority of Americans (88 percent) believe the government should invest in an earthquake early warning system, and slightly more Californians agree (94 percent).

95 percent of Americans say it is important that emergency warnings be accessible to everyone at the same time, including individuals with disabilities and those in rural areas and low income communities.

America's Public Television Stations (APTS) and Eagle Hill Consulting are working with the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and public television stations on a multi-year project to develop a robust high-speed data delivery capacity for time-sensitive earthquake early warnings in California's most populated areas.

Already, Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, Turkey and Romania have operating warning systems that generally are government operated and funded.

The California Earthquake Early Warning System (CEEWS) is comprised of seismic sensors, data processing centers, and end-user distribution mechanisms to warn individuals, institutions and infrastructure operators of impending shaking once an earthquake is detected.

The public television project encompasses a network of existing high-power over-the-air data-capable television transmitters serving the metropolitan areas of Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Fresnoand Sacramento to carry CEEWS alerts with the low-latency, broad reach and high availability of the public TV system.

America's public television stations are committed to three essential public service missions: education, public safety and civic leadership.

As the last locally-controlled media in America, public television reaches nearly 97 percent of the American people, public television stations are uniquely positioned to provide these services, not only on television but also in the classroom, online, as part of the emergency response network and in the community.

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