Prediction involves using seismometers to monitor earth tremors. Experts know where earthquakes are likely to happen, however it's very difficult to predict when they will happen. Even looking at the time between earthquakes doesn't seem to work. Along the San Andreas fault in California, USA, scientists have some of the most advanced technical equipment and education in predicting earthquakes – but they too cannot be exactly sure of when or where an earthquake may strike.
Many areas prone to earthquake hazards now use building codes. Any new building or adjustment to existing buildings must be built to strict guidelines that would protect people from future earthquake hazards. Protection involves constructing buildings so that they are safe to live in and will not collapse. Some examples of building improvements are:
Hospitals, emergency services and residents practise for an earthquake in earthquake-prone countries. They have drills in all public buildings so that people know what to do in the event of an earthquake. This helps to reduce the impact and increases people's chance of survival.
Responses are how countries react to an earthquake. They are categorised as follows: