On April 21, people of all ages are encouraged to participate in the Great Utah ShakeOut, an annual event aimed at educating our state’s residents about what to do if an earthquake occurs.
How exactly will that drill play out? Beginning at 10:15 local time and lasting for 60 seconds, residents will practice dropping to the ground; covering their heads and necks with their arms (and a sturdy table, if one is nearby); and holding onto that shelter for the duration of the minute-long practice session. Experts recommend this drop, cover and hold on strategy in the event a real earthquake occurs.
Although it’s very possible you’ve never experienced an earthquake yourself, geologists say earthquakes can occur in Utah. A survey of 20 possible scenarios within our borders shows damage from one of our active earthquake fault sources could range from as little as $300,000 for a 5.3-magnitude event at the San Rafael Swell up to $35.4 billion for a 7.0-magnitude event at the Salt Lake City Segment of the Wasatch fault. The latter event could result in casualties of more than 4,400 people and displace residents from close to 100,000 households.
The numbers don’t lie: Earthquakes are serious business. If you’d like to take advantage of this learning opportunity whether at home, at the office or at your children’s school, you can click here to register online.
Have fun participating in this event, but remember to take it seriously and think through how you could help your family and your community in the event of an actual earthquake with advice from the experts. With nine in 10 Utah residents living in active earthquake zones, now is the time to prepare.