There's a new earthquake and tsunami alert system that can give you a few precious seconds to take cover before the tremors hit.
It gave the residents of the Bay area 10 seconds of advance notice of the recent 6.0 Napa quake. The ShakeAlert system being tested at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center can't predict quakes, but can get you a real-time warning if you're away from the epicenter.
For example if a large earthquake happened on the big island, residents on Oahu could have as much as a 1 minute warning before the damaging shaking began. Enough time to duck and cover, avoid entering tunnels or bridges, time to stop trains and taking other safety precautions.
The new system would also allow for up to a minute faster notice of deadly tsunamis. The only catch, the sensor network in Hawaii is not dense enough or advanced enough to utilize the system for Hawaiian earthquakes.
For Hawaii to get the technology, it comes down to funding, and legislative will power.
The USGS says there's a 1-2 chance of a major 6.5 earthquake or higher in the next 10 years in Hawaii. Those odds jump to an almost certain 97 percent chance over the next 50 years.