With its easy to read graphics and bullet-style format, Seismo-Watch Earthquake Reports were ideally suited for television.
In a bold and innovative move, Seismo-Watch adapted a series of graphics showing regional and global earthquake information and earthquake safety and preparedness tips into a sequence of panels or screens that continuously revolved on a noncommercial electronic community message billboard featured by a local community access television station.
The electronic message billboard is an inexpensive public service offered to the community by the local community access television station. It cycles through a stack of public service messages, such as school board meetings, special events, etc., during the nonscheduled television programming of the day - which is about 50-70% of a 24-hour broadcast schedule. The messages rotated through the stack about 2-3 times per hour. This indicates the Seismo-Watch Earthquake Reports could potentially be seen 30-50 time per day or between 200-350 times per week!
Read more about the SNCAT program here.
This landmark innovation of using an electronic community message billboard to show earthquake information and earthquake preparedness tips accomplished three goals:
- 1) delivers quick and comprehensive earthquake and preparedness information to a large public arena whereby reduces the risks associated with earthquake activity,
- 2) are available to large number of Community Access Television cable networks throughout the country and the world;
- 3) Has a low production and delivery overhead cost that can be passed on to underwriters.
On November 27, 1996, the first Seismo-Watch Earthquake Report was broadcasted on Sierra Nevada Community Access Television (SNCAT), a community access television station in Reno, Nevada. The program was heralded by community and government leaders, as well as seismological community and the public at large, for helping reduce the risks associated with earthquake hazards within the Reno/Sparks community. It was officially commended by the State of Nevada Earthquake Safety Council and was sponsored, in part, by a matching funds grant with FEMA and the State of Nevada Division of Emergency Management for FY 1997.
Later, reauthorization of the matching funds grant was approved for FY 1998 and FY 1999, extending this marvelous service for two more years.
In September 1998, the Seismo-Watch Earthquake Report was expanded to Carson Community Access (CAT), a community access television station servicing 60,000 cable hookups in the Carson/Dayton region. The CAT community message billboard had a slightly higher broadcast frequency than SNCATs which indicates the Seismo-Watch Earthquake Report will be featured in excess of 400 showings per week.
In 1999, funding for the Seismo-Watch earthquake report on SNCAT and CAT television was not renewed by the Nevada Earthquake Safety Council and the State of Nevada due to budgetary constraints and the program was discontinued. This was a tragic blow to the earthquake safety program in Nevada. Both SNCAT and CAT extended their sincere regrets for the end of the program as it was popular with its viewers.
See and example of the sequence below: