In recent years, we have made significant progress in being able to recognize the long-range pattern of events that precede large earthquakes. For example, in a recent issue of the Earthquake Information Bulletin, we saw how the pioneering work of S.A. Fedotov of the U.S.S.R in the Kamchatka-Kurile Islands region has been applied worldwide to forecast where large, shallow earthquakes might occur in the next decades. Indeed, such a "seismic gap" off the coast of Alaska was filled by the 1972 Sitka earthquake. Promising results are slowly accumulating from other techniques that suggest that intermediate-term precursors might also be seen: among these are tilt and geomagnetic anomalies and anomalous land uplift. But the crucial point remains that short-term precursors (days to hours) will be needed in many cases if there is to be a significant saving of lives.