The West 2011 conference kicked off at the San Diego Convention Center Tuesday.
It's a place where top leaders in the U.S. Military and Defense Industry come together to trade information on technology and trends.
Some of that technology is being used to help Californians stay one step ahead of disaster.
A company called "Seismic Warning" is developing what it says is the first regional earthquake early warning network.
The "Net Quake Guard" uses sophisticated sensors to detect the first waves of an earthquake. It then sends out a signal to a network of devices. They in turn send out an alert that an earthquake is coming as much as 30 seconds before damaging seismic waves hit.
Developers say such advanced warning gives everyone a better chance of getting to safety.
"It can stop surgery centers in operation mode, " said George Dixon with Seismic Technologies. "It can communicate to water systems, re-route water or gas mains, utilities, so it's basically creating a network that's a disaster utility."
The regional system is being tested first in the Palm Springs area. The company hopes to expand it statewide within five years.