MILPITAS (KCBS)— Newly developed technology by a Scotts Valley company can give schools, cities and businesses a 10 to 30 second advance warning of an earthquake depending on their distance from the epicenter. The system measures the earthquake’s primary or P-wave.

Rocky Saunders with Seismic Warning Systems said a lot can be done in that amount of time.

“Imagine that a city with this [technology] could automatically shut down intersections, for instance, or bridges, or just start blinking yellow lights. You can slow traffic down,” Saunders said.

More than just drivers in their vehicles, Saunders touted the benefits of the warning system and how it could help notify BART, Muni and other city’s mass transit and buses.

“The transit system can really slow down and take the edge off of any danger,” he said.

Milpitas Christian School is one of the first in the state to have the technology installed.

“With our earthquake early warning system, our students can duck, cover and hold before anybody ever feels the ground starting to shake so that they are protected from falling objects or things coming off of their desks,” said school superintendant Ken Van Meter.

According to Van Meter, the warning system comes with a $15,000 price tag, but is well worth the cost.

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