Utah Shake Out Shows How Large-Scale Disaster Planning Works

Utah Shake Out Shows How Large-Scale Disaster Planning Works

April 25

When I was in school, we’d have a fire drill nearly every quarter. It’s important to inform young people about what they need to do in an emergency, so it’s useful to conduct these types of tests.

Once you finish school, emergency preparedness efforts like these often take a back seat, though it’s always important for everyone to know what to do in case of a fire or other emergency. Of course, it may be that your family runs a few drills to test preparedness, and the same might be true of your business. It’s wise to have an occasional drill to test employees or family members and make sure they know what to do in an emergency. But while your family and business have a plan, what about local authorities? Are they doing anything to make sure they’re ready for various emergencies? Are they testing a plan?

Those of us working at the StorageCraft headquarters in Draper, Utah are fortunate enough to have a state full of officials who are dedicated to planning. Because of their efforts, the entire state can plan for the worst together.

Each year, the Utah Division of Emergency Management hosts a state-wide earthquake awareness and preparedness event called “The Great Utah Shakeout.” Essentially, for a short amount of time, participants respond to a mock earthquake as though it were a real one and “drop, cover, and hold on” to solidify the protocol for protecting their lives. Some participants even play audio of recorded earthquakes to amplify the simulation.

This year, nearly 860,000 Utahns participated in the Shakeout, while last year the numbers were just shy of one million. The event stands as a great example of large scale organization and dedication to planning for disasters that can happen in an area. We’re happy to live in a place that thinks forward and plans for the worst in fantastic statewide disaster-resistance efforts. It’s critical that we all think about what can go wrong and how we’ll work together during catastrophes. Awareness is a big part of large-scale planning and events like The Great Utah Shakeout send a tremor of awareness through the entire state. Through events like these we can all learn how to prepare together and be ready when disaster strikes.

Utah isn’t the only place that has shakeout events, take a look at this list to find one in your area.

How are officials preparing for disasters in your area?

Photo Credit: Courtney Dirks via Compfight cc