SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A Bay Area company is about to roll out a free earthquake alert app that could give users precious seconds of lead time before the shaking starts.

The goal of Palo Alto Startup Zizmos is to help get people to safety, but the amount of warning time can vary.

“It depends on your location.  You might get a few seconds, to up to one minute of warning,” Zizmos founder Gazi Yildirim said.

The smartphone app works both ways, not only allowing users to receive alerts, but also letting them be a part of the crowd-sourced data network to feed data into the system.

“When the earthquake starts in a specific location, it moves out, and if you have sensors around the origin epicenter, your sensors can pick up the signals,” Yildirim said.

The app should be available to smartphone users in about two weeks.


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