How We're Better

Our approach to providing earthquake warning is better because we started with a blank slate to avoid being tied down by the past. Every aspect of the system is optimized for reliability, accuracy, and performance.
Service truck
Public domain via Wikimedia Commons/GMC Savana, by IFCAR - Own work

Commercial System

Earthquake warning can be very effective if the response to the warning is automatic. We have focused on building a system that has the reliability, performance, and security necessary to gain the trust needed for businesses to permit the automatic control of their equipment. As a private company, we use private investment and commercial revenues to build and sustain the system.

QuakeGuard with sensors and GPS
CC-Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0/SWS

Built Specifically to be an Earthquake Warning System

Our system was designed from the start to meet the requirements of earthquake warning without the compromises necessary had we started with a system originally designed for other purposes. Our system was designed only for earthquake warning. It does not have to serve other purposes. Each component of the system has been optimized to provide the best possible earthquake warning performance.

See How It Works »
Mechanical siren
CC-Attribution/TBD

Designed to Minimize False Alarms

We realize that false alarms have a significant cost for our customers and to the reputation of our system. If people cannot trust that the warnings we provide are always reliable, they will treat them like they treat fire or car alarms: with scepticism. We strive to ensure that our system earns the trust of our users.

Learn About Reliability »
SWS California station map

Provides Protection Everywhere

We provide earthquake protection for every customer, regardless of their location or circumstance. Learning how to do this took many years of research. We did not offer a product until we were able to provide comprehensive protection, even at the epicenter. We believe it would be irresponsible to leave some people unprotected just because providing universal protection is hard.

Explore Blind Zones »
Network map
CC-BY-2.0/mhbeals.com

Fault Tolerant

An earthquake may damage portions of an earthquake warning system or the infrastructure on which the system relies. Our system was designed from the start to be tolerant of failures and to reconfigure itself automatically to continue to provide protection.

SWS EWS pyramid of protection
CC-Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0/SWS

Customized for Each Region

We understand that each geographical region faces different earthquake hazards and has different vulnerabilities. We designed our system to address these differences to provide the best protection possible. We do not assume that one single system design can protect everyone equally.

See Our Regional Plan »
QuakeGuard with sensors
CC-Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0/SWS

Standalone Backup

For particularly critical facilities, we provide standalone earthquake warning devices that can provide protection even if all of the power and communications infrastructure is damaged and unusable. Examples of critical facilities include hospitals and emergency response centers.