QuakeCAFE: A mobile wake-up call for Californians

QuakeCAFE: A mobile wake-up call for Californians

BERKELEY – No one likes to be reminded that there’s a 99.7% chance that California will experience a major earthquake in the next 30 years. But a little preparedness can go a long way and a new mobile-friendly website called QuakeCAFE can help.

Launched today by CITRIS at UC Berkeley in collaboration with the Office of the Lt. Governor of California, QuakeCAFE provides Californians with a powerful tool that allows them to quickly and easily assess their level of preparedness, and compare their readiness for the Big One with others across the state. It works on all screens and takes only a minute to complete.

“Disaster preparedness is one of my top priorities,” said Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. “QuakeCAFE is an exciting new way to help California become more prepared and resilient.”

QuakeCAFE presents users with six key questions about their readiness for a significant seismic event and then engages them in an informative dialogue about how California as a whole could be better prepared.

“It is incredibly exciting to see how new visualizations and social media can build awareness without being boring or overly complex,” said UC Berkeley professor Ken Goldberg, who heads the project team.

QuakeCAFE emerged from the California Report Card (californiareportcard.org), an English and Spanish mobile platform that allows participants to assess and give advice on timely policy issues at the state level. Over 22,000 participants from California’s 58 counties have assigned over 40,000 grades to a variety of governmental programs and projects, and have provided policymakers with important feedback and guidance regarding issues they want to see prioritized. Among these, disaster preparedness generated consistent interest across the State, prompting Lt. Gov. Newsom to encourage CITRIS to develop QuakeCAFE.

A public forum will be held on the UC Berkeley campus in January with a panel including earthquake experts and Lt. Gov. Newsom.

QuakeCAFE is a collaborative effort between the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS), based at UC Berkeley and the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of California.

Contact: Prof. Ken Goldberg, University of California at Berkeley,
goldberg@berkeley.edu or (415) 722-5649