"Close to 75 million people in 39 states face some risk from earthquakes. Earthquake hazards are greatest in the western United States, particularly in California, but also in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and Hawaii. Earthquake hazards are also prominent in the Rocky Mountain region and the New Madrid Seismic Zone (a portion of the central United States), as well as in portions of the eastern seaboard, particularly South Carolina. Under the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP), the federal government supports efforts to assess and monitor earthquake hazards and risk in the United States. Given the potentially huge costs associated with a large, damaging earthquake in the United States, an ongoing issue for Congress is whether the federally supported earthquake programs are appropriate for the earthquake risk. This report discusses:  earthquake hazards and risk in the United States,  federal programs that support earthquake monitoring,  the U.S. capability to detect earthquakes and issue notifications and warnings, and  federally supported research to improve the fundamental scientific understanding of earthquakes with a goal of reducing U.S. vulnerability."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33861