Earthquake Early Warning System Works Flawlessly in Los Angeles 5.4 Quake

QuakeGuard™ Systems deployed in Southern California Instantly Register Tuesday Quake as Low Risk.

Los Angeles, CA, July 31, 2008 --( Earthquake early warning systems deployed and operating in Southern California locations east of Los Angeles monitored Tuesday’s 11:42a.m. magnitude 5.4 quake near Chino Hills, California before the shaking began at their locations by detecting the quake’s primary shockwave (P-wave) and instantly calculating the forthcoming shaking to pose no significant threat. Determining little risk to local people or property, QuakeGuard™ systems east and south of the quake detected the event prior to major shaking at their locations and chose not to activate their automated response safety mechanisms. QuakeGuard™ installations throughout the State continue a perfect performance record with no false activations for non-hazardous local seismic events and 100% success at detecting potentially hazardous local events as they have over the last 9 years in past events such as the quakes near Palm Springs, Paso Robles, and most recently in San Jose on October 30th, 2007. Deputy Cal Fire Chief Ignacio Otero reports ”…none of the systems we have in the Coachella Valley activated during this event [since the shaking intensity at our sites was below the triggering threshold], as they did during the Anza earthquake which was much closer. We continue to be very pleased with the system’s performance”

Designed by Seismic Warning Systems, Inc., QuakeGuard™ is protecting fire stations throughout California. QuakeGuard™ detects a quake’s nearly imperceptible P-wave that comes before the dangerous secondary shaking waves arrive, similar to how we see lightning before we hear thunder during a storm, except that with quakes it is the secondary waves that can be destructive. If the device’s patented technology calculates from the P-wave that the quake is potentially dangerous, it immediately sounds alarms and triggers the safety response system for that installation. The system has automated responses and stand alone back-up battery for aftershocks. At fire stations, for example, the system automatically opens fire station bay doors, turns on lights, and sounds a siren and/or broadcasts a voice warning message, giving firefighters valuable seconds to prepare for the shaking and get fire trucks out of the station before the doors can jam. "If these doors can at least get 3/4 open, we can get most of the apparatus out of the engine bay," said Palm Springs Fire Chief Blake Goetz. "We have to get the valuable equipment and emergency response personal out to the community. Stuck in the fire house, it will do us no good."

QuakeGuard™ currently provides about one second of warning time for every five miles between the system’s location and an earthquake's epicenter. According to Seismic Warning Systems Chief Seismologist Gilead Wurman, “If we had an instrument in every school and firehouse in the LA basin as we would like to, we could have provided significant warning time during this event or larger ones to come. As an example, the Staples Center in downtown LA, which experienced a shaking intensity on the order of 4 to 5, is 29 miles away. We calculate conservatively that 5-10 seconds of advance warning utilizing our QuakeGuard™ system is perfectly feasible at the Staples Center for this earthquake”. In the devastating May 12th quake that occurred in Sichuan, China, news reports indicated that office buildings ‘swayed with the tremor’ hundreds of miles away in Beijing and Shanghai where well over 100 and possibly about 200 seconds of early warning would have been possible if QuakeGuard™ technology had been installed there.

There is a 99 percent chance of California experiencing a quake of magnitude 6.7 or larger within the next 30 years, according to the Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast, sponsored by the U.S. Geological Survey, the California Geological Survey and the Southern California Earthquake Center and published in Science in April. Regarding geological pressures built up along Calfornia’s known faults, Caltech experts stated on CNN that yesterday’s 5.4 quake, "is a sample, a small sample,"

Fortunately, no significant damage resulted from the recent 5.4 temblor, but communities where QuakeGuard™ is installed can be confident that this high tech warning system is ready to help protect their emergency service teams for the next big earthquake. “We only wish that awareness was greater across the state that this type of protection is available,” says Seismic Warning Systems, Inc. CEO George E. Dickson III. “We would really love to see every school, fire station, hospital, business and other facility protected for the upcoming major quake that experts across the state say is a 99% likelihood in the next 3 decades or less.”


For more information on this topic, or to schedule an interview with Seismic Warning Systems CEO George Dickson, please contact Scott Nebenzahl at 831-440-1122 / 707-732-7274,

About Seismic Warning Systems, Inc. (SWSI)
Seismic Warning Systems, Inc. ( has developed a patented technology that, for the first time, provides a very reliable warning of an impending earthquake to alert people of imminent danger and trigger key control systems for buildings, equipment and other infrastructure to prevent damage and/or ensure continuance of service. Furthermore, we are extending our technology leadership into the arena of intelligent sensor networks and real time analytics beyond earthquake applications to include structural monitoring. As such, Seismic Warning has developed a robust suite of distributed sensor network technology for real-time response to natural and man-made disasters. Automated outputs generate alerts, alarms and sirens, and instantaneously distribute information to a wide range of systems including factory and building automation, IT, emergency response, and life/safety. The systems are designed to integrate well with wireless technologies, both for collecting sensor data and disseminating alarms and control signals.

Presently their systems are installed in a variety of facilities throughout California in Fire Stations, Schools, Hospitals and corporate campuses. Applications run from basic siren and voice alert to elevator re-call and apparatus door activation. They collaborate with each end-user to define which applications of the early warning signal are best to implement. The technology continues to have un-paralleled success. Units operating at Cisco Systems, and Milpitas Christian School activated during the recent Alum Rock quake near San Jose where some structural damage occurred to buildings. SWSI is also pleased to announce the recent test and acceptance of their first Water Tank Valve application at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.
Seismic Warning Systems
Scott Nebenzahl