Reliability

Our earthquake warning system has been engineered for extreme reliability throughout. We started with a blank slate to minimize compromises.
Drop, Cover, and Hold On in a school
CC-Attribution/Al Key
Two types of Actions

There are two types of responses to an earthquake warning.

For people, the best response to most earthquakes is to drop, cover, and hold on. Their reaction to an earthquake warning must be immediate and unhesitating to minimize the risk of injury or death.

Truck at a fuel loading depot
CC-Attribution/NPA

Automated actions are the second type of response to earthquake warnings. Because earthquakes happen so quickly, the best way to maximize the benefits of earthquake warning is to automate protective actions. However, a false alarmWhen a protective action is taken even though the required conditions, such as shaking intensity, did not occur. could needlessly shut down complex and expensive industrial operations, costing millions of dollars.

Because both of these response types, human and automated, require absolute confidence that the warning is real, the QuakeGuardOur earthquake warning product capable of initiating alerts and protective actions for every earthquake, even at the epicenter.TM earthquake warning system is designed to minimize false alarmsWhen a protective action is taken even though the required conditions, such as shaking intensity, did not occur. and maximize uptime.

Frustrated man at a desk
CC-Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons/LaurMG. - Own work
False Alarms

A false alarmWhen a protective action is taken even though the required conditions, such as shaking intensity, did not occur. occurs any time a client takes a protective action when no action was warranted. False alarmsWhen a protective action is taken even though the required conditions, such as shaking intensity, did not occur. cost money in lost productivity and equipment downtime, cause unnecessary anxiety, and frustration, and ultimately erode people's confidence in an earthquake warning system.

Chairs and table in a lawn
Public Domain/McKinley/Posterous
Ignoring Small Earthquakes

There are many sources of false signals that can fool an unsophisticated earthquake warning system. The most obvious of these is small earthquakes, which can be mistaken for large earthquakes by poorly designed algorithms. QuakeGuardOur earthquake warning product capable of initiating alerts and protective actions for every earthquake, even at the epicenter. algorithms are designed to evaluate the intensity of shaking rapidly and accurately, to avoid alarms in cases of weak shaking.

Cat with hydraulic hammer
CC-Attribution/Caterpillar
Cultural Noise

A false alarmWhen a protective action is taken even though the required conditions, such as shaking intensity, did not occur. can also be caused by the noise generated by people driving trucks or trains, doing construction or demolition work, and just generally going about their daily lives in the vicinity of the sensor. Two high-quality seismometers at every site allow the QuakeGuardOur earthquake warning product capable of initiating alerts and protective actions for every earthquake, even at the epicenter. system to reject man-made noise.

Solar flare
Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons/NASA
Electrical Noise

Electrical noise can be caused by solar flare activity or interference from electrical systems like power lines or radio towers. Electrical noise is removed through the careful system design, including the proper shielding of cables and electronics.

Man at a keyboard
CC-BY-2.0, via Wikimedia Commons/Ola Waagen from Norway
Malicious Interference

Finally, we can't discount the possibility of malicious sources of false signals, like a hacking attempt. We have designed industry-leading encryption and security measures into every level of the QuakeGuardOur earthquake warning product capable of initiating alerts and protective actions for every earthquake, even at the epicenter. system, all the way from the seismometers to the customer's facility, to ensure every warning is real and correct.

Service truck
Public domain via Wikimedia Commons/GMC Savana, by IFCAR - Own work
System Readiness

Because large earthquakes are unusual events, it's not enough to wait for a significant event to test the operation of the system. The QuakeGuardOur earthquake warning product capable of initiating alerts and protective actions for every earthquake, even at the epicenter. system is subjected to continual end-to-end testing, using signals from small, imperceptible earthquakes to test all the signal paths between the seismometers and the customer.

When a problem is detected, Seismic Warning Systems personnel are alerted immediately and the problem is fixed as soon as possible. Whether it's a communication breakdown, a hardware malfunction, or a server failure, the problem is addressed before it can affect the performance of the system.

QuakeGuard with sensors
CC-Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0/SWS
The Result

The QuakeGuardOur earthquake warning product capable of initiating alerts and protective actions for every earthquake, even at the epicenter. earthquake warning system is designed from the ground up to provide reliable, robust earthquake warnings. Users know they are protected at all times, and can act with complete confidence when they receive a warning.