This report documents the rationale and strategy used to write short summaries of the seismicity and tectonic settings of domains in southeastern North America. The summaries are used in automated responses to notable earthquakes that occur anywhere east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States or Canada. Specifically, the report describes the geologic and tectonic information, data sources, criteria, and reasoning used to determine the content and format of the summaries, for the benefit of geologists or seismologists who may someday need to revise the summaries or write others. These tectonic summaries are designed to be automatically posted on the World Wide Web as soon as an earthquake?s epicenter is determined. The summaries are part of a larger collection of summaries that is planned to cover the world.