Wednesday, February 5, 2014

ShakeOut: Time to Prepare for Earthquakes

ShakeOut is now less than 3 months away on April 17 at 10:15 a.m. and more than 399,000 Utahns are already registered to participate! 

This month also marks the 20th anniversary of the January 17, 1994 M6.7 Northridge earthquake, the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history at the time. to watch ground-shaking stories and to find a variety of resources and facts. 

Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills are a chance to practice getting prepared and how to protect ourselves during big earthquakes like NorthridgeWe are continuing our series of earthquake safety tips (see below) with Step 2:Plan to be Safe.

If you are an organization or school, now is a great time to finalize plans for your ShakeOut drill:

  • Have you notified your participants about your ShakeOut drill date? (Most will participate on April 17 at 10:15 a.m., but your drill can be held anytime within 2 weeks).
  • Have you described or updated your drill plans on your ShakeOutprofile?
  • Will you be playing theShakeOut Drill Broadcastduring your drill?  Be sure to download the recording and test how it plays on your sound system prior to drill day.
  • Will your drill include activities of interest to the news media? If so, please complete our event submission form and your event may be included on our list of media venues.
All participants can also review simple instructions for how to participate that are available for each ShakeOut participation category and for a variety of situations. If you have registered recently, please review previous ShakeOut Update e-mails that you may have missed.

The Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety

In the coming weeks, we will continue to highlight each of the Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety, recommendations for what to do before, during, and after earthquakes. Following these steps is an optional aspect of your ShakeOut participation that may improve your preparedness for a big earthquake or other emergencies. 
Icon for Step 2, Plan to be Safe Step 2: Plan to be safe.

Plan to be safe by creating a disaster plan and deciding how you will communicate in an emergency. Visit Be Ready Utah for great suggestions about planning for disasters. Here are aspects to consider when planning for earthquakes:
  • Identify safe spots in every room, such as under sturdy desks or tables, or on the ground next to an interior wall away from windows and things that may fall.
  • Earthquakes can start fires, so store a fire extinguisher where it can be easily accessed, and learn how to use it (P.A.S.S. Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep).
  • People often cut their feet during or after earthquakes when they get out of bed and walk barefoot on broken glass or other fallen objects. To keep shoes and a flashlight within reach, put them in a bag and tie it to your bedframe or headboard.
  • Access to making long distance phone calls is usually restored first.Choose someone who lives out of the area for everyone in your family to report their status, then learn how to Text First, Talk Secondfrom ShakeOut partner Safe America Foundation.Woman demonstrating what to do in an earthquake while in a wheelchair
  • If you are a person with a disability or need extra help, include your personal support network in your plan and visit for a variety of resources.

  • You may also want to check out last Friday's edition of the Deseret News for a special section on preparing your family for disaster. "When Disaster Hits Home" will be included in every Deseret News on Friday. Copies of "When Disaster Hits Home" will also be available in Emergency Essentials stores in Orem, South Jordan, Murray and Bountiful.
For more about how to plan to be safe, go

Who will ShakeOut with you? 
Join Us for the Largest Earthquake Drill in U.S. History A great way to help your community, your employer, and others to prepare to survive and recover is to encourage them to register to participate in the Great Utah ShakeOutSpread the word at family gatherings, community events, and work meetings, and online via social media. You can also place one of the ShakeOutweb banners on your organization's website, distribute flyers, and use other materials available on the ShakeOut Resources page.

Thank you for your participation in this historic event and for your commitment to disaster preparedness!

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