UVU to join in Great Utah ShakeOut on April 18


The Utah Valley University community will again join hundreds of thousands of people statewide for the annual Great Utah ShakeOut April 18. The earthquake drill enables participants to plan and prepare for a potential Wasatch Front earthquake.

At 10:15 that morning, students, faculty, staff, and visitors will be notified by an overhead broadcast system and emergency text messages that the drill is beginning. Individuals are encouraged to drop, cover, and hang on. Getting to the floor prevents falls, covering prevents injury from plummeting objects, and holding on maintains those protective measures.

Even if someone is familiar with the plan, it can take repeated practice for it to become second nature to put it into practice in a time of emergency. People often have only seconds to protect themselves in the event of an earthquake, so a conditioned response can save lives.

It’s easy to postpone the training since it’s been approximately 350 years since the last major earthquake hit Utah. However, experts note the Wasatch Front has a damaging earthquake at approximately that same interval.

There is a 50-50 chance that a major earthquake will happen in this area in the next 50 years. It could be anytime, according to the Utah Division of Emergency Management.

“Utah has experienced damaging earthquakes in the past, and geologic evidence indicates that earthquakes larger than any experienced locally in historical time are likely in the future,” according to utah.gov.

The Great Utah ShakeOut is the state’s largest earthquake drill. It has a goal to prevent a major earthquake from becoming a catastrophe for as many individuals as possible.

Additional information is available at www.ShakeOut.org/Utah.