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Living well in earthquake country

Sabrina Sevilgen

Temblor includes the global earthquake activity rate (GEAR) model [Bird et al., in press, BSSA]. Here the GEAR forecast for M≥6.8 earthquakes (warm colors) is compared to observed earthquakes since 1977, from the USGS (white disks). The globe is centered on the 2015 M=7.8 Gorkha, Nepal, earthquake, which took 8,800 lives.

A personal solution to a global problem

Half of the world’s population lives near active faults, and so could suffer earthquake damage. Most do not know they are at risk; many of the rest do too little, too late.


Temblor will enable everyone in California, then all the United States, and eventually the world, to learn their seismic hazard, to determine what most ensures their safety, and to decide what best reduces their risk.


In our web app, mobile app, and browser extension, Temblor will estimate the likelihood of seismic shaking and home damage. We then show how the damage or its costs could be decreased by buying or renting a seismically safe home, securing fragile objects inside your home, retrofitting an older home, or buying earthquake insurance.

COOL TOOLS

Temblor will have several unique features that make earthquakes personal, fascinating, and immediate.


Quakes you can feel

Family & friends connection

Global earthquake forecast

Home seismic comparison

Your hazard rank

Your seismic risk


"The estimates you gave us were extremely helpful in giving us peace of mind, and helping us make a rational decision about the right actions to take."

-Peter & Amelia Kriss, new homeowners, San Francisco

An intuitive way to compare home locations

Temblor allows you to compare homes based on their earthquake hazard

We reveal the odds so you can make the best decision

Temblor takes into account your home's resilience and all known earthquake sources

Seismic rank and damage estimates for a particular 2500 sqft home in San Jose, CA
We use USGS (United States) and SHARE (Europe) hazard data

Maps that make it real and immediate

Map layers include liquefaction and landslide susceptibility, faults and quakes. As you zoom in, smaller magnitude shocks appear. Because all these features work on your mobile phone as well, as you drive around, you can see yourself crossing faults, liquefaction boundaries, and landslides.

Get to know the faults around you

With the mobile app in full screen mode, you'll see faults with new eyes

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you basing the damage estimates on the largest quake that could strike nearby?

No, we are basing them on the shaking caused by all likely earthquakes, near and far, large and small.

Are you predicting earthquakes?

No, we are not: earthquakes cannot be predicted. The forecasts are based on the long term behavior of faults, using the best public scientific data available.

My house did fine in the 2014 M=6.0 South Napa, 1989 M=6.9 Loma Prieta, or 1994 M=6.7 Northridge shock, so why should I care?

Only if you lived in Napa, the Santa Cruz Mountains, or Northridge, would these earthquakes have tested your home’s seismic resilience. For most of us, they were too far away to matter.

Does a hazard rank lower than, say, 75 mean I am in the clear?

Unfortunately, it does not. For example, the 2014 M=6.0 South Napa, 2003 M=6.6 San Simeon, and 1992 M=7.3 Landers shocks all struck where the hazard was less than 50.

If my hazard rank is high, why is the chance of experiencing no damage also high?

That’s how it works with earthquakes: Strong shaking is rare but damaging. Most homes in California have not suffered damage in the past 30 years, consistent with this assessment.

Why should I protect myself when the chance of major damage is, say, 5% in 30 years?

To put it in perspective, your chance of getting sued, totaling your car, or burning down your house is lower than 5%, and yet you probably protect yourself from these.

TEMBLOR PROMOTES BUSINESS RESILIENCE

We help financial, insurance, real estate, and contracting companies understand their seismic hazards, and communicate it to their clients and employees.

We evaluated the seismic hazards of the Taipei, San Francisco, and Salt Lake City offices of a major financial institution. We analyzed the 2014 USGS hazard model relative to its 2008 predecessor for a large global insurance company. We have published seismic research in 30 countries.

Photo credit: Todd Quam

Team Temblor

Volkan Sevilgen, M.S.

cofounder and CTO

Volkan leads Temblor’s scientific programming and technology development. He received an M.S. in Geophysics from Istanbul Technical University in 2006, and then worked at the USGS with Ross until 2014, where he helped to develop and teach the Coulomb 3.0 earthquake stress and deformation software, and also managed a four-year probabilistic seismic hazard assessment for the Balkan countries funded by USAID's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance. Sevilgen’s 2012 study, ‘Stress imparted by the great 2004 Sumatra earthquake shut down transforms and activated rifts up to 400 km away in the Andaman Sea,’ appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Ross S. Stein, Ph.D.

cofounder and CEO

Ross is Consulting Professor of Geophysics at Stanford University, Scientist Emeritus at the U.S. Geological Survey, and President-Elect of the Tectonophysics section of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). He is a Fellow of the AGU and the Geological Society of America. In 2012, Ross received the Gilbert F. White Natural Hazards Award from AGU, and gave a TEDx talk, ‘Defeating Earthquakes.’ He received an Sc.B. from Brown University magna cum laude and with honors, and a Ph.D. from Stanford University. In 2009, Ross cofounded the Global Earthquake Model (GEM), a public-private partnership building a seismic risk model for the world.

Serkan Sevilgen

Software Developer

Serkan leads Temblor’s API, mobile app, web app, and browser extension development, and its backend server systems. He is a programmer for high-traffic web sites, e-commerce, social media, content management systems (CMS) and analytics. He is a former entrepreneur and worked for Turkey’s largest sports team conglomerates, digital agencies, e-commerce companies. Serkan is skilled in PHP, Python, Node.js, Javascript, R, MySQL, MongoDB, Redis, Memcached, Nginx, Apache, AWS, and Heroku. He studied Chemistry at Bogazici University and received a B.S. in Design from Yildiz Technical University in Istanbul.

Elizabeth H. Madden, Ph.D.

Seismic Research & Development

Betsy combines geological and geophysical data, field work, and numerical modeling to understand fault structures and seismic hazards. Her published research focuses on fault energy budgets, fracture growth, 3D fault structure and behavior, tectonic stress magnitudes and orientations in the Earth, and how the shape of Earth’s surface affects ground motions. Much of her work is directed at mitigating seismic hazard. Betsy received her PhD from Stanford University in 2012, and was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 2013-2015. Before entering graduate school, Betsy worked at American Red Cross in International Services.

Alexandra Kim

Developer & Researcher

Ali is building Temblor’s GIS mapping capabilities, conducting insurance research, and leading our website design. She is a junior at Brown University, double majoring in Applied Math-Computer Science and Geochemistry. She is a National AP Scholar, and received high school department awards in Science (Chemistry) and Mathematics (Statistics). Ali is also a defender on Division I Women’s Lacrosse team at Brown, a skydiver, and rock climber.

Temblor, Inc. is a Delaware corporation domiciled in Redwood City, California. Temblor is represented by Gunderson Dettmer LLP (legal services), Barnes and Thornburg LLP (trademarking), and Silicon Valley Bank (financial services).