ShakeOut, don’t Freak Out in 2019
Each year, about 1 million Utahns practice what to do in an earthquake by joining our statewide earthquake drill. What will you do with 99 days?
We get it. Sometimes, it doesn’t seem like Utah is going to have the devastating earthquake that we’ve been talking about for years. Sometimes, it seems like people have heard about the big one for so long that they are tired of hearing about it. Sometimes, people feel like when it does come, that it will be so bad that everyone is going to die anyway, so why bother.
Those are our favorite statements
Why? Because it shows that we still have plenty of work to do and it keeps us motivated to help people prepare.
If everyone really knew, really knew, how bad a magnitude 7.0 earthquake would be, they would make preparedness a regular part of their lives. They would work to be resilient and ready to help their neighbors. They would have food and water storage and would take first-aid classes. They would buy proper insurance and stay physically fit so they could have the best possible disaster recovery.
But not everyone is ready, so we get to work.
On April 18, 2019, you are invited to join the largest emergency preparedness effort in Utah, the Great Utah ShakeOut. Since 2012, more than 6.6 million Utahns have participated from all over the state. Are you one of them? Here’s what you do:
- Go to ShakeOut.org/utah and register as a participant (This allows you to be counted and to receive a couple reminder emails that include some great preparedness tips
- On April 18, at 10:15 a.m., pretend an earthquake has hit near you. We even have cool audio and video files you can download so you can hear real earthquake sounds.
- Practice the earthquake actions of Drop, Cover and Hold on. (Why Drop, Cover and Hold on?)
- After about one minute, there are a variety of things you can do.
- Survey the area near you to see what items may have fallen and then make a plan to secure those items.
- Have a discussion about emergency procedures with those near you.
- Practice evacuating and reuniting.
We provide the ShakeOut as an opportunity to practice with your friends, neighbors or co-workers.
So, Utah. What will you do with your 99 days to prepare for our drill? We suggest you use them, because we don’t know how long Mother Nature will give us until we have to do this for real.
Joe Dougherty is the public information officer for the Utah Division of Emergency Management. email@example.com
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