Drop down, cover up, and hold on tight: the Utahns practice seismic safety

The annual Great Utah Shakeout will take place on Thursday, April 15. The event is designed to help Utahns practice earthquake safety. (Utah ShakeOut)

The Utahns will participate in an event designed to promote earthquake safety on Thursday, April 15.

The Great Utah ShakeOut is an annual event designed to prepare residents across the state for the possibility of a major earthquake. Event planners provide individuals, schools and businesses with instructions and resources to organize their own emergency earthquake drills and simulations.

More than 90% of Utah’s people live in earthquake-prone areas, so organizers have tried to address the importance of preparing for this potential natural disaster in recent years.

Last March, a historic 5.7 magnitude earthquake shook homes on the Wasatch Front. While BYU did not report any damage after the quake, others in the state were not so lucky. The ShakeOut is meant to deal with future earthquakes and to prepare people for what might come.

“Many people in Utah ignore the seismic risk due to the near absence of moderate to severe earthquakes, especially along the Wasatch front.” ShakeOut site says. “Most people living in Utah today have not experienced a devastating earthquake in the state. “

The organizers of ShakeOut believe in the importance of preparing for emergencies so that residents are prepared for what could happen.

Earthquake safety is taught simply through the slogan “let go, cover and hold on”. This sentence describes what to do inside a building during an earthquake: drop to the ground, take cover by getting under a desk or sturdy table and hang on to it. until the shaking stops.

In order to react quickly, say the organizers, you need to practice often in order to create safe habits.

Other seismic safety procedures are also discussed during the exercise. Practicing all kinds of situations makes people feel more comfortable with what they will do if the opportunity arises.

Over 680,000 residents have registered to participate in this year’s Great Utah ShakeOut. More information on registration can be found at ShakeOut’s website.

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