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Media Advisory: Sign Up for USGS Alerts for Flooding and Drought

Media Advisory: Sign Up for USGS Alerts for Flooding and Drought

Use ‘ProjectAlert’ to keep up with USGS scientists as they respond to floods, droughts, and chemical spills. These alerts are official, yet informal notices that describe flood, drought, or water quality conditions across the country, as well as how USGS field crews are responding to the event.

ProjectAlert notifications are published in real-time by a USGS field scientist and let you know when the scientist is:

  • Measuring the flows of flooded streams.
  • Tracking drought-depleted groundwater.
  • Sampling the quality of water in a lake, stream, or well.
  • Repairing streamgage or environmental monitoring instruments.
  • Deploying storm surge sensors in anticipation of a hurricane.
  • Flagging highwater marks to document recent flood flows.

In some cases these alerts provide an opportunity for media to accompany scientists into the field.

While the USGS has used ProjectAlert to send e-mail notifications about extreme hydrologic events to selected officials for years, now they are available to the public. These alerts describe the activities of USGS to obtain and report the hydrologic information urgently needed by water resource managers, forecasters, and emergency management officials. A link to the RSS feed and the web archive can be found at

A user can receive RSS notifications for alerts relating to storm surge, state, regional, and national notifications. RSS readers that support filtering can be used to restrict postings retrieved by these categories.

For information on real-time hydrologic conditions visit WaterWatch.

USGS Newsroom

More information

Parameter Value Description
Magnitude mb The magnitude for the event.
Longitude ° East Decimal degrees longitude. Negative values for western longitudes.
Latitude ° North Decimal degrees latitude. Negative values for southern latitudes.
Depth km Depth of the event in kilometers.
Place Textual description of named geographic region near to the event. This may be a city name, or a Flinn-Engdahl Region name.
Time 1970-01-01 00:00:00 Time when the event occurred. UTC/GMT
Updated 1970-01-01 00:00:00 Time when the event was most recently updated. UTC/GMT
Timezone offset Timezone offset from UTC in minutes at the event epicenter.
Felt The total number of felt reports
CDI The maximum reported intensity for the event.
MMI The maximum estimated instrumental intensity for the event.
Alert Level The alert level from the PAGER earthquake impact scale. Green, Yellow, Orange or Red.
Review Status Indicates whether the event has been reviewed by a human.
Tsunami This flag is set to "1" for large events in oceanic regions and "0" otherwise. The existence or value of this flag does not indicate if a tsunami actually did or will exist.
SIG A number describing how significant the event is. Larger numbers indicate a more significant event.
Network The ID of a data contributor. Identifies the network considered to be the preferred source of information for this event.
Sources A comma-separated list of network contributors.
Number of Stations Used The total number of Number of seismic stations which reported P- and S-arrival times for this earthquake.
Horizontal Distance Horizontal distance from the epicenter to the nearest station (in degrees).
Root Mean Square sec The root-mean-square (RMS) travel time residual, in sec, using all weights.
Azimuthal Gap The largest azimuthal gap between azimuthally adjacent stations (in degrees).
Magnitude Type The method or algorithm used to calculate the preferred magnitude for the event.
Event Type Type of seismic event.
Event ID Id of event.
Event Code An identifying code assigned by, and unique from, the corresponding source for the event.
Event IDS A comma-separated list of event ids that are associated to an event.

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