Silicon Valley startup company, QuakeGuard, is expanding its state-of-the-art earthquake detection system first piloted in Palm Springs, CA. Now, there are twelve locations, and 120 more on the way and they can provide early warnings to people who use the system.
The system is currently in use by schools and emergency support (fire and police stations). The system works with sensors placed around strategic places to detect initial P waves given off from quakes and comparing with S waves to determine quake strength and likelihood. QuakeGuard can provide as much as a few minutes warning to those using the system.
Not only can alerts be provided, but also special macro jobs can initiate: fire stations can open garage doors, city utilities (gas and water) can be shut off. During the pilot program in the Coachella, Tom Kirk from the Coachella Valley Association of Governments, said that, “For [the city’s] fire station, doors roll up; for [the] school, an alarm might sound, teachers tell the kids to duck and cover; for a hospital, maybe backup generators go on.”