Thousands participate in annual ‘Great Utah ShakeOut’ earthquake drill

Apr 18, 2024, 1:33 PM

SALT LAKE CITY — Drop! Cover! Hold on!

There is no time for hesitation.”Yes, we do live in earthquake country. Earthquakes happen here,” said Wade Mathews, public information officer for the Utah Division of Emergency Management.

The Great Utah ShakeOut stretched across the entire state, including at the Utah Capitol with the Division of Emergency Management.

On the day-to-day, members of the Utah Division of Emergency Management are the ones who help dispatch emergency response in emergencies like earthquakes.

They, too, need to know what to do and prepare on their end to help keep us all safe. Practice makes perfect.

“Any disaster we don’t necessarily panic. We freeze. It’s called milling. It’s just like what’s happening… What did we learn about catching on fire? Stop drop and roll. Everybody knows that… We want that same memory — that same muscle memory — to occur when facing an earthquake,” Mathews said.

One thing Mathews said you can do to prepare for an earthquake is to make sure you have an out-of-state emergency contact who can relay info back and forth between family members if separated.

Also, you may need to restock or add to your emergency kit.

“We used to call them 72-hour kits, but that was three days. Now, we’re thinking we need to have more like 96 hours worth of food and water in our kits, medications, clothing, other tools,” said Mathews.

Wade said the largest number of those participating in the ShakeOut are coming from K-12 schools.

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Thousands participate in annual ‘Great Utah ShakeOut’ earthquake drill