I interviewed Harold (Hal) Good who discussed The Future of Earthquake Early Warning Systems.
Could your first provide a brief background of yourself?
Yes, Dustin I'm really grateful for the opportunity to present a little bit of a discussion on this topic which is near and dear to my heart. I started out in supply chain and materials management, working in a hospital situation for New York Lingo Medical Center and then we went on vacation to Palm Springs, California which is right on the San Andreas fault in the California desert. And I became the director of procurement and contracting for the city of Palm Springs for 21 years, and during that time I was instrumental in securing earthquake early warning system. Which has proved to be reliable over 10 years now.
That's interesting, can you share more of your experience with your earthquake early warning system?
Yes, what drove the earthquake early warning system was two things. One is, Palm Springs has an international airport and it has a fire station that serves on one side the airport, and the other side, the city of Palm Springs. And so it's a major facility and a neighboring jurisdiction in an earthquake had their doors for their main doors where their fire equipment and ambulances would dispatch from, damaged from an earthquake. So at the worst possible time when the earthquake had occurred, they got their stuff stuck behind doors. And then to make matters worse in more neighboring jurisdiction in the same earthquake, they had an overhead that would normally be where school children would wait for busses and that collapsed during the earthquake.
Fortunately it had happened during the weekend so no one was hurt but those two things illustrated that if we could possibly put something in place that could prevent both of those situations from happening, it would be a good thing to have. And when the fire chief attended a conference he was able to see such a thing and we implemented it and right after we implemented it we had a 5.3 earthquake and the doors to the fire station opened when the earthquake first occurred and we were safely able to get equipment out and didn't suffer that kind of damage. And the system is currently in some local schools and the kids from the time the warning sounds until they get under a desk or safe place, it happens within a typical reaction of 3 seconds. Which is sufficient time because although the time varies from the time that you have time to respond depending on how far you are from the center, the average time is about 20 seconds and the kids response time was 3 seconds. So the benefits for that kind of a system are additionally, you can hook the system into any electronic box so that when the earthquake first occurs with the few seconds of warning you get, it can shut of gas so you don't have a fire. It can stop elevators so they don't get caught between floors and I'm sure that listeners can think of all types of applications. All kinds of possibilities and so this is a system that's definitely proved to save lives.
Do you have any recommendations for supply chain executives who might be using this system?
I think one of the important things we all in today's world are very keenly aware of the negative impacts of disruptions in our supply chain. Some of the major players that have looked at ways to prevent disruption in their supply chains have now become interested in being able to implement this technology because you can prevent major damage by those devices and those few second warning you get. You can help your suppliers in your supply chain to either prevent damage, prevent injuries, or in worst case scenario if there's going to be damage, to help mitigate the damage and lower the damage and effect of disruption in the supply chain to the extent that it's possible.
Thanks, Hal for sharing today. Did we cover all the points you wanted to make?
I think so. Maybe it would be helpful for the listeners to know a little bit, just quickly how this works because it works off of two different waves. One is a P wave that travels shorter and when the earthquake occurs, the P wave triggers the device. But the P wave doesn't do any damage. And then depending on how far you are from the epicenter, the shock wave, the S wave comes to follow that and that's the one that does the damage. So the amount of warning you get is the amount of time it takes to travel from the epicenter when the earthquake occurs, for the P wave to arrive and trigger the device, until the damaging shockwave hits. And like I said before, the average of that is typically about 20 seconds and it can be more or less, but that's the technology it works off of.
And thanks for sharing today.
Thank you very much, Dustin, I'm very grateful for the opportunity.
About Harold (Hal) Good
Harold (Hal) Good
Content contributor at Public Spend Forum
Denver, Pennsylvania Management Consulting