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Fact Sheet 2007–3086

USGS ShakeCast

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Fact Sheet
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Automating, Simplifying, and Improving the Use of ShakeMap for Post-Earthquake Decisionmaking and Response

ShakeCast is a freely available, post-earthquake situational awareness application that automatically retrieves earthquake shaking data from ShakeMap, compares intensity measures against users’ facilities, and generates potential damage assessment notifications, facility damage maps, and other Web-based products for emergency managers and responders.

What is ShakeCast?

ShakeCast, short for ShakeMap Broadcast, is a fully automated system for delivering specific ShakeMap products to critical users and for triggering established post-earthquake response protocols. ShakeMap is a well-established tool used to portray the extent of potentially damaging shaking following an earthquake. ShakeMap is automatically generated for small and large earthquakes in areas where it is available and can be found on the Internet at It was developed and is used primarily for emergency response, loss estimation, and public information. However, for an informed response to a serious earthquake, critical users must go beyond just looking at ShakeMap, and understand the likely extent and severity of impact on the facilities for which they are responsible. To this end the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has developed ShakeCast.

ShakeCast allows utilities, transportation agencies, businesses, and other large organizations to control and optimize the earthquake information they receive. With ShakeCast, they can automatically determine the shaking value at their facilities, set thresholds for notification of damage states for each facility, and then automatically notify (by pager, cell phone, or email) specified operators and inspectors within their organizations who are responsible for those particular facilities so they can set priorities for response.

Version 1.0

Posted October 2007

Suggested citation:

Wald, David, and Lin, Kuo-Wan, 2007, USGS ShakeCast: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2007-3086, 6 p.

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