Earthquakes in real life are not always what they are depicted as in movies. A 5.7 magnitude earthquake shook the Salt Lake Valley in March of 2020 and caused hundreds of aftershocks in the following weeks and months. For the most part, minimal damage was done. Although this earthquake was relatively mild, it is projected that the Wasatch Fault, which extends 240 miles from southern Idaho to central Utah, has a 43% chance of experiencing a 6.75 or greater magnitude earthquake by 2070.
Given those odds, it is a good idea to conduct drills to ensure people know what to do in the event of a big earthquake. The Great Utah ShakeOut is a great way to discover what things you may or may not know when it comes to staying safe during an earthquake.
The Great Utah ShakeOut is a statewide earthquake drill that is held annually. This year’s drill will take place on Thursday, April 20, at 10:15 a.m. Everyone is encouraged to participate in the drill regardless of where you are.
You may only have a few seconds to protect yourself in an earthquake before strong shaking knocks you down or drops something on you. If you are inside a building, look for the nearest desk or table, drop to the ground, take cover under a sturdy desk or table and hold on until the shaking stops. If you are not by a table or desk, crawl next to an interior wall and hold your head and neck with both arms. If you are outdoors when the shaking starts, find an empty area away from buildings, trees and powerlines and remain there until the shaking stops.
For the drill on April 20, The Great Utah ShakeOut has prepared a list of ways you can plan your own drill and share it with friends and neighbors. You can find this list and all other information pertaining to The Great Utah ShakeOut at shakeout.org/utah.