Innovation That Matters

Earthquake warnings | Photo source Lidia Zajdzińska on Unsplash

Integrated home system provides individual earthquake warnings

Nonprofit & Social Cause

A simple home system could mean the difference of survival for those in poorer regions

Spotted: With increasing levels of extreme weather and natural disasters, innovative design in the last few years has often sought to improve people’s safety in such emergency situations. Springwise has seen innovations such as wet masks to use in fires, or a floating device to monitor flood risks. On average there are 100,000 earthquakes a year worldwide. Roughly 100 of these cause noticeable damage, especially in lower economically developed countries. An innovation from Swedish students seeks to alleviate these dangers.

Terra is an affordable earthquake pre-warning system that can integrate into a home. It uses seismographic technology to detect incoming earthquakes. Many lower-income areas do not have the emergency infrastructure to warn or protect them during an earthquake. This often leads to unnecessary property damage and loss of life. Terra has two modes: one to warn of an incoming low-impact earthquake that encourages inhabitants to stay indoors, and one for high-impact quakes to warn people to take immediate action.

The differing use of lights and either urgent or relaxing alarm noises notifies the users of the approaching situation. The two levels of warning help to reduce panic in densely populated areas and keeps inhabitants better informed. In case of a destructive earthquake, having fast and individual warnings saves precious seconds. This time can quite literally save lives in an emergency. It also alleviates the strain on emergency workers, as they do not have to inform and warn so many civilians.

The students, from Umea University, are seeking to crowdfund their idea and spread the message.



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