Earthquake Preparedness

Date: July 22, 2020

Classification: Unclassified

Branch/Agency: PS/EMPB 


Government of Canada action to help strengthen Canadians’ ability to better mitigate, prepare for, respond to and recover from natural hazards, including earthquakes.

Proposed Response:

Earthquake Early Warning


Natural Resources Canada’s role in the event of an earthquake

Automated systems send rapid alerts to critical infrastructure operators and emergency management organizations with an estimate of location and magnitude of the event. Information is also made available to the public via Twitter: “@CANADAquakes”.

Seismologists are on call at all times for immediate confirmatory analysis and communications with respect to significant earthquakes.

Once reviewed for accuracy, the seismologist posts the location, magnitude and time of the event on the Earthquakes Canada website at

Earthquake Monitoring and Early Warning System:

Natural Resources Canada monitors earthquake activity in Canada in real time through a network of sensors connected to two data centres in Ottawa and Victoria. Automatic notifications are sent to critical infrastructure and emergency responders, and to the public via Twitter.

With funding announced in Budget 2019, Natural Resources Canada is developing a national earthquake early warning system, with a target implementation date of 2024. This system will provide seconds or tens of seconds of warning of strong earthquake shaking to population centres and critical infrastructure in areas of Canada with the greatest earthquake risk. 

This funding was part of a large investment made in Budget 2019 to strengthen Canada’s ability to respond to such emergencies.. This investment will improve Canada’s ability to predict and respond to threats through the use of early warning systems, and enhance our understanding of the nature of the risks posed by floods, wildfires and earthquakes. In addition, this investment will help to assess

the condition and resilience of Canada’s critical infrastructure—including energy grids, water and food supplies and health services—in the aftermath of a natural disaster.

Tsunami Preparedness:

Natural Resources Canada contributes real-time seismic data to support the National Tsunami Warning Center (NTWC), co-located in Palmer, Alaska, and Hawaii, which provides alerts on earthquakes that could generate tsunamis likely to impact coastal North America.


Prepared by: Arjun Vinodrai, Director- Strategic Policy, Tel: (613) 949-3180

Approved by: Patrick Tanguy, Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Tel: (613) 851-1481 

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