Thousands across state practice earthquake safety as part of Great Utah ShakeOut

Apr 21, 2022, 12:32 PM | Updated: Jun 10, 2022, 11:55 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Hundreds of thousands of Utahns participated in a drill Thursday morning to see how prepared they are when an earthquake hits.

It’s part of the Great Utah ShakeOut.

This is the 11th year state leaders have rolled out the program.

We live in earthquake country, so emergency managers say it’s important we’re prepared for the big one.

Students at Calvin Smith Elementary School in Taylorsville put their preparation into practice.

The announcement came over the intercom and students immediately got out of their chairs, dropped to the floor and crouched under the desks.

They were among the nearly 900,000 taking part in the Great Utah ShakeOut – the largest statewide earthquake drill.

Lisa McDonald, Calvin Smith Elementary principal, says they’ve spent weeks preparing students for this day.

“Many of them remember the earthquake from two years ago, so they said, ‘Oh, we had some items break in our house.’”

“The Magna quake was an eyeopener for many people. For many Utahns, maybe the first modern earthquake they’d ever felt. They didn’t really know what to do,” said Wade Mathews with the Utah Division of Emergency Management.

He says the best way to protect yourself is to drop, cover and hold on.

That can play out differently, depending on where you are.

“If you’re in bed, stay in bed and just pull your pillow over your head to protect your face and head from flying debris, things falling off shelves.”

If you’re driving, pull over as soon as you can safely do so and stay in your car.

Mathews says do not run outside or to other rooms during shaking and do not stand in a doorway.

The hope is that after doing these drills, people feel more prepared about the threat of an earthquake.

“I want them to walk away with a plan of what to do if this were to happen again,” McDonald said.

You can still register and schedule a drill for another day and it will count toward the state’s one million participation goal.

Visit the Great Utah ShakeOut website for a list of resources and emergency preparedness tips.

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Thousands across state practice earthquake safety as part of Great Utah ShakeOut