The Great Utah ShakeOut

Today (April 17th, 2012) at 10:15 the state of Utah is participating in an Earthquake drill (The Great Utah Shakeout).  This will be the largest earthquake drill in Utah history.

If you are just now learning about this event head over to www.shakeout.org/utah.  In particular check out the how to participate page.  Here is an example of what you as an individual could do (taken from http://www.shakeout.org/utah/individuals/):

  1. At 10:15 Drop, Cover, and Hold On Drop to the ground, take Cover under a table or desk, and Hold On to it as if a major earthquake were happening (stay down for at least 60 seconds). Practice now so you will immediately protect yourself during earthquakes! (See this page for what to do if you are in bed, outside, driving, in a tall building, or other situations.) For people with disabilities or access and functional needs, download our preparedness guide (661 KB) PDF.”
  2. While still under the table, or wherever you are, look around and imagine what would happen in a major earthquake. What would fall on you or others? What would be damaged? What would life be like after? What will you do before the actual earthquake happens to reduce losses and quickly recover?
  3. (Optional) Practice what you will do after the shaking stops.
  4. After your drill is complete, have discussions about what was learned and incorporate these lessons into your disaster plan.

This is a great opportunity to look at your emergency plans.  Have you thought about earthquakes?  Is your 72-hour / bug-out-bag ready to go?

If you are on twitter you can follow @UtahShakeOut and the #shakeout hashtag for more up-to-date info.

Feeling the Shakes? Here’s a Brief Earthquake Review

In the past few days, there have been a few earthquakes just west of Lehi. As this page shows, we’ve had three small earthquakes (2.5-2.8) in the past three days. Events such as these provide us a great reminder of the need to be prepared. If the earthquake were much larger, would you know what to do? What immediate action should you take?

The following is some information which may prove useful for your review, in preparing for a future earthquake that affects us at a substantial level.

First, as a summary of the situation here in Utah living along the Wasatch Fault, this 10 minute video by the Utah Geological Survey is a great starting point.

One question you might have is whether this succession of small earthquakes is indicative of a larger one in the near future. Here’s one answer on that:

Continue reading “Feeling the Shakes? Here’s a Brief Earthquake Review”

Losing your storage to disaster

Recently we had a reader ‘Lonnie’ write in with the following excellent question, that I’ve heard asked in other forms too;

Haitians Retrieve Deceased from Collapsed Building by United Nations Photo.
Photo Via Flickr User un_photo

Recently we had a reader ‘Lonnie’ write in with the following excellent question, that I’ve heard asked in other forms too;

Was thinking about the earthquake in Haiti, and if that happened along the wasatch front. I live in Utah county in a 2 story home with a basement. My food storage is in my basement. What if the earthquake totally destroys my house and my food storage is buried under the rubble of what was my house? It won’t do me any good when I can’t GET TO IT! Any suggestions on mitigating that problem?

Well Lonnie, it looks like I’m finally going to get around to addressing your question, and hopefully in a helpful manner. Continue reading “Losing your storage to disaster”

Utah Earthquake Education

A great video provided by the Utah Geological Survey.  If you’ve ever wanted a little more information about the reality of earthquakes in the Utah area, this is a must-watch video.  They use the popular Google Earth tool to point out important aspects of Utah’s Fault-line network.  Just how close do you live to one of these?  Do you cross any on your way to work?

My wife is from California, I’m from Washington.  We both grew up learning about the dangers of earthquakes, and the likelihood of them happening.  While she had far more experience with them actually happening than I did, I do remember having earthquake drills in school.  Learning to stay away from the windows, and what would help protect me from the roof falling in.  Living in Utah now, my son hasn’t had drills like that in his school, some might say because of the lower risk of earthquakes.  We’ve had family lessons on how to react in the case of an earthquake, among other emergencies, but what do other people have to say about earthquakes in Utah?  What would be the general populations reaction? Continue reading “Utah Earthquake Education”