Early warning systems for earthquakes have been proposed for several years now. While they dont offer very much of a warning, several second or even up to a minute can be extremely helpful in the event of an earthquake. Several countries already have systems in place. Japan has a very good system in which the initial P wave sets off a chain of alerts and warnings across the country. It even goes as far as slowing down their bullet trains, modifying their electrical grids and oil pipelines. Several other countries have tested and begun to implement similar systems. The question is, why havent we? Certain areas in the US are at a high risk for earthquakes and earthquake damage. A few precious seconds of warning could save dozens if not hundreds of lives.