I believe that the Quake Catcher Network can save California from "the big one". Elizabeth Cochran of UCR and Jesse Lawrence of Stanford are the geniuses who developed the Quake Catcher Network to turn your laptop's accelerometer into a seismometer. Looks like we aren't doomed after all.
The Quake Catcher Network can detect earthquakes as "small" as 4.0. The data is crowdsourced and can be viewed on the Quake Catcher website. The program runs unnoticed, so ideally every laptop in the world would run the Quake Catcher program to help spread the word of an earthquake as early as possible.
Earthquake-Detecting PC Mods
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The Quake Catcher Network Turns Laptops Into Seismometers (UPDATE)
Published: Apr 26, 2010 • References: qcn.stanford.edu