As part of its monitoring activities, the ANSS includes a national Backbone network, the National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC) , the National Strong Motion Project , and 15 regional seismic networks operated by USGS and its partners. When earthquakes strike, ANSS delivers real-time information , providing situational awareness for emergency-response personnel. In regions with sufficient seismic stations, that information includes –within minutes–a ShakeMap showing the distribution of potentially damaging ground shaking, information used to target post-earthquake response efforts. When fully implemented, ANSS will provide such dense station coverage for all at-risk urban areas. Information from ANSS is a key input to the USGS National Seismic Hazard Maps, which help communities in earthquake-prone regions develop safer building practices.

ANSS stations location
The ANSS backbone is based on the core of the original US National Seismic Network. In partnership with the National Science Foundation, the USGS worked with the Earthscope program (through the USArray project and IRIS) in 2004-2006 to upgrade and install new backbone stations. This effort was completed in September 2006, with 15 new stations installed and 20 existing stations upgraded. Today, the ANSS Backbone consists of nearly 100 stations in the United States, many of them contributed by partner networks and organizations.