Bay Area Volunteers Wanted: Must Live Near Fault

NetQuakes Sensors record ground motions and send data to researchers

The U.S. Geological Survey issued a request Wednesday for volunteer homes in Northern California to host one of its earthquake sensors.

The USGS said it wants to install 35 of the shoebox-sized devices known as NetQuakes Sensors to record strong ground motions and send the measurements to the agency over the Internet. The information will be used to help with emergency response after earthquakes.

USGS officials said they're looking for homes that are quiet and out-of-the-way, but near population centers and active fault lines. Areas that need sensors include homes under 4,000 square feet and near business districts, which includes a large section of the Bay Area.

Here are the other requirements:

  • An out-of-the-way location in a 1-2 story building (no significant basement).
  • Building must have a concrete slab foundation in some location (for example, a garage) to which the NetQuakes box can be bolted.
  • A local network with a permanent broadband connection to the Internet. If you don't have WiFi, USGS will install a WiFi router.
  • AC power to the seismograph.
  • Occasional minor servicing of the instrument, such as battery replacement.

Potential volunteers can fill out an application at the USGS website.

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