Are you ready if an earthquake happens today? The month of April in Utah is Earthquake Preparedness Month. The best time to prepare for a disaster is before it happens.
On March 18, 2020, Salt Lake County experienced a 5.7-magnitude earthquake, known as the 2020 Magna earthquake; aftershocks were felt for many months following. If the Wasatch Fault shifts and releases energy at a 7.0 magnitude, that would be almost 20 times bigger than what we experienced and 89 times stronger.
To help prepare for such a large earthquake, Utah residents are encouraged to participate in the annual Great Utah ShakeOut Drill that will take place on April 15, 2021, at 10:15 a.m. It’s easy to participate. Wherever you are at that moment—at home, at work, at school, anywhere—you should drop, cover, and hold on as if there were a major earthquake occurring at that very moment and stay in this position for at least 60 seconds.
There will not be any freeway closures, power outages, or other simulated effects of the hypothetical earthquake. This is a chance to practice taking cover. This day is also a great reminder to practice and evaluate your family emergency preparedness plan. It is also a good time to update and replace any perishable items in your 96-hour kit.
Everyone is encouraged to participate on April 15. How you and your family participate is up to you. Drop, cover, and hold on is simple to remember and can save lives. More details can be found at shakeout.org/utah.