Earthquake Information

In response to a request from the PMG, USGS and OES management established an Ad Hoc panel in May 2003 to develop specifications for an earthquake information system and to review existing systems as well as systems under development. Lind Gee of the BSL and David Oppenheimer of the USGS were asked to co-chair this panel and to provide a written report within 90 days. The panel met on July 9-10th at the BSL and the report was published on September 16 (Ad Hoc Panel on Earthquake Information Distribution, 2003). The panel reviewed the three major existing or planned distribution systems (QDDS, QuakeWatch, and ShakeCast) and noted that none of the systems addressed all the current needs for earthquake information distribution. In particular, firewalls are a growing problem for systems relying on socket-based connections. The panel recommended that a new system be developed, and outlined preliminary specifications for such as system.

Following the publication of the report, OES asked to BSL to write a proposal for the development of the Earthquake Information Distribution System or EIDS. OES approved the proposal and forwarded it to FEMA for review. FEMA agreed to provide $100,000 toward the development of the system out of the 2002 Emergency Management Program Grant to the State of California.

The award from FEMA was combined with the OES funding of the CISN and the contract was received by UC Berkeley on May 13th, 2004. In parallel, Lind Gee and David Oppenheimer worked with the members of the Ad Hoc panel to develop detailed specifications - appropriate for a Request For Proposal or RFP - based on the September 2003 report. The specifications were completed in late June and submitted to UC Berkeley Purchasing on July 6, 2004. Unfortunately, the late award of the funding combined with the difficulties of issuing an RFP complicated efforts to award the funding in a timely fashion.

In mid-August, the BSL decided to proceed with a sole source award to Instrumental Software Technologies, Inc (ISTI). Paul Friberg of ISTI was one of two vendors who made presentations to the AdHoc Panel in July of 2003 regarding an earthquake information distribution system. On September 28, 2004 the BSL was notified that an extension to March 30, 2005 has been awarded by FEMA.

Over the last nine months, BSL have worked with ISTI on the development of the software. In particular, Pete Lombard has been involved in extensive testing of the EIDS software and documentation. The USGS is planning to hold a meeting in October 2005 to discuss the roll out of the EIDS software.

Figure 4.4: Screenshot of the myCISN Web site, as personalized for Lind Gee. The interface allows users to select and organize the earthquake information they want to see. New modifications under development also allow users to create a section of personalized links.
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