State Earthquake Drill Today

Last week I was trying to get someone in the Mayor’s Office to care that I had been through a number of earthquakes. I’ve been in some pretty good shakers but no one wanted to hear my survival stores.

At 10:15 a.m. today, thousands of Utahns will participate in the largest earthquake drill ever in Utah. Individuals, families, businesses, schools, and government agencies have been encouraged to participate by holding their own drills around the same time. It’s a great way to practice what to do in the event of a real earthquake. Because when the adrenaline kicks in, you may not act safely if you haven’t practiced.

Provo City will participate in the state drill by activating its emergency operations center, which means dozens of employees will come together to practice their respective roles in a local disaster. Under the leadership of an incident commander, the directors of the police, fire, public works, energy, and other departments will talk about, and in some ways practice, how they would respond to an earthquake in Provo.
But in order to respond to the needs of the city, we would first need to protect ourselves, so many of us will also practice quake-safe actions in our offices and departments as well. My staff and I recently met with the city’s emergency management coordinator to come up with a plan for the Mayor’s Office. Here are some things I learned:
  • I’m the only one in the Mayor’s Office who has experienced an earthquake before.
  • Parts of the City Center have been seismically retrofitted, but the Mayor’s Office has not. And there’s major HVAC equipment in the ceiling right above my desk.
  • As a general rule, the best thing to do is to “drop, cover, and hold on.”
While Provo City is not coordinating the drill for the public (we will not announce the start of the event with a siren or other signal), we encourage residents to visit www.ShakeOut.org/Utah to learn more and be a part of it.
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  1. glenda

    I live up on the grand view hill and didn’t hear anything it
    Might help to have something closer to the people up here
    On grandview

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