Be Ready: Earthquake Preparedness in Utah
Japan sadly kicked off the New Year with an earthquake. While watching the news coverage I thought about how we can be prepared for an earthquake in Utah.
This isn’t an article to cause panic, this is just an article to give you information so you can be prepared.
According to Earthquakes.Utah.Gov, Utah has experienced seventeen earthquakes greater than magnitude 5.5 since the pioneer settlement in 1847. Utah is in the western part of the North American plate.
Earthquakes in Utah are related to interactions with the Pacific plate along the plate margin on the west coast of the United States.
So, what are the chances of a large earthquake? Well, along the Wasatch Front, there’s a 57% probability of at least one magnitude 6.0 or greater and a 43% probability of at least one magnitude 6.75 or greater in the next fifty years.
On the upside, Utah isn’t in a region capable of experiencing an earthquake greater than about a magnitude 7.6.
According to the Utah Geological Survey, Cedar City, St. George, and the surrounding towns are along the Washington/Hurricane/Sevier- Toroweap Fault Zones.
These Earthquakes.Utah.Gov tips will help you be prepared before, during, and after an earthquake.
Move or secure things that could fall on you. Look for heavy objects such as books and potted plants on high shelves, computer terminals, and top-heavy furniture that could topple or fall and injure you during an earthquake. Determine how such items can be secured. If they cannot be secured, be ready to move away from them in an earthquake.
Be ready to move away from windows and glass partitions because they can break during an earthquake.
Store emergency supplies in an accessible location.
Know emergency procedures and the locations of emergency exits, fire alarms, and fire extinguishers.
Learn the Drop, Cover, and Hold On protective action, and teach it to your family & friends.
Hold earthquake drills throughout the year and participate in the Utah ShakeOut.
Prepare a communication plan and share it with all family members.
Prepare a 14-day food and water storage.
Drop, Cover, and Hold On!
Take cover under something sturdy, such as a desk, table, or heavy furniture.
If you are in bed, stay there.
If you are not in bed, drop to the ground so an earthquake doesn’t drop you to the ground.
Most people in earthquakes are injured by things falling on them.
Move away from windows, tall file cabinets, and other things that could topple and fall.
Report to family meeting place or work rally point, assist visitors.
Help locate the injured. Be especially watchful for people who can’t hear your calls or move on their own.
Exercise extreme caution in and around damaged buildings as aftershocks can cause further damage.
Prepare for aftershocks - Drop, Cover and Hold on.
Provide care and basic needs for yourself, family members, and/or co-workers at your location.
If you can do so safely, exit the building.
Put your emergency response plan into action.
An excellent source of information on earthquake preparedness is the publication Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country.