WEST BOUNTIFUL - It’s been said “It’s not if, but when” a major earthquake will hit the Wasatch Front.
That’s why, for the second year, Utah is holding the Great Utah ShakeOut, involving individuals and families, government entities, schools, health care facilities, businesses and more.
The ShakeOut is set for April 17 at 10:15 a.m., when Davis County residents will join other Utahns and people across the nation in drills of what they should do when an earthquake hits.
It’s not too late to register at shakeout.org/utah. Some of those involved participated last year. Others are doing it for the first time.
West Bountiful is among several Davis County cities participating this year. Previously, the city had conducted a small drill, but it’s been expanded this year.
Police Chief Todd Hixon is coordinating the exercise that he’s calling “a pretty good little event.”
“It’s not a climb under your desk-type of event,” he said
The city will use the day to test its communications and organizational skills in the event of an emergency, with exercises planned. “We’ll do something like a bridge collapsing,” the chief said.
The city has an Emergency Preparedness Advisory Committee (EmPAC), co-chaired by Hixon and resident Jason Meservy that is spearheading the event with Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) chair Ron Crandall.
“It will be a way of testing what’s in place,” Hixon said.
While testing the city’s communications will be the top priority, Hixon hopes the event will help city officials see where improvements need to be made in its emergency response.
Ninety percent of Utahns live in an active earthquake zone, according to the shakeout website.
Many Utahns don’t believe the earthquake danger is as great as experts warn, because there have been few moderate to large earthquakes along the Wasatch Front since the pioneers first arrived.
However, because of the amount of time that has elapsed, the likelihood of a major earthquake along the Wasatch Front in increasing
While earthquakes are possible anywhere in the state, they are most likely along the Wasatch Front, the website said
Participants in the ShakeOut will be asked to drop, cover and hold on.
Those inside a building will be asked to move no more than a few steps before dropping to the ground, taking cover under a sturdy desk or table and hold on until the shaking stops.
Those outdoors when he shaking starts should find a clear spot away from buildings, trees, street lights and power lines before dropping, covering up and holding on.
Anyone driving should pull over in a clear location, stop and stay put with their seatbelt fastened. Once the shaking stops, motorists should proceed with caution, avoiding bridges or ramps that may have been damaged, according to the website.