The National Earthquake Information Center determines the location and size of earthquakes worldwide and distributes this information. It also provides a database for information regarding seismic activity and researches ways to improve the understanding of earthquakes and the ability to detect them.
The NEIC's core goal is to minimize the risks that earthquakes pose to people. By informing national and international agencies, scientists, critical facilities, and the general public as soon as an earthquake is detected, the agency assists in directing emergency aid and informing the general public. The database provided by the NEIC is an important service, as it supplies a foundation for research by other institutions.