Thirty seconds doesn't seem like a long time, but it can be the window between life and death when an earthquake hits. That's why Early Warning Labs is teaming up with the U.S. government on an early warning app that'll give people in earthquake-prone areas some added time.

QuakeAlert will use cloud software to send alerts about coming tremors to smartphones. The app will be free, and there will be a piece of hardware you can put in your home or office that will relay messages when the shaking hits.

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This isn't available yet, but when it comes out, it could provide a valuable alert system for people in California and elsewhere on the west coast where fault lines are active. Earthquake early warning systems save lives, and this is a technology that is long overdue in the US. [TechCrunch]