Shake things up at emergency prep seminar

By Becky GINOS BOUNTIFUL—When the big one hits will you be ready? The Bountiful City Neighborhood Emergency Preparedness Council is hosting the presentation “Shaking Things Up!” to give tips and resources on what to do in the event of an earthquake. Featured speakers are Bob Carey, Earthquake Program Manager for the Utah Division of Emergency Management and Maralin Hoff, “the earthquake lady” trainer, Be Ready Utah. “In particular I will be discussing exactly what to expect in an earthquake,” said Carey. “We’ll take a look at places where it can happen and sources where an earthquake can come from.” Carey said he’ll cover how the built environment is going to react. “We have HAZUS (Hazards US) software to help quantify losses,” he said. “It shows us where we can anticipate the most damage to infrastructure and value loss. Also, how homes will fare in this event.” Another thing they watch for is unreinforced masonry or URM. “Our findings show 92 percent are single family residences of that category,” said Carey. “Any structure built before 1975 made out of cinder block, brick or other block material is considered not reinforced or under reinforced. That goes to the heart of most homes.” Among other things he will cover is what happens with ground shaking and liquefaction. “It’s a big deal in places like West Bountiful, Woods Cross, Centerville and going on up to Farmington,” he said. “Places that kind of lay west of I-15. Liquefaction is a process during ground shaking that brings the ground water to the surface. It makes it more unstable causing buildings to lean and some structures to even be pushed out of the ground.” The ground loses its baring and ability to support, said Carey. “It’s like if you were at the ocean on the beach. If you tap your foot on the ground where the water has been it creates energy and the water starts coming up around your foot,” he explained. “Especially in that part of Davis County there are a lot of structures and pipes.” Hoff has been teaching about earthquake preparedness for about 24 years. “I started out with the Division of Emergency Management,” she said. “In taking my training I realized I didn’t know what preparedness was. I knew I needed to prepare. I started recreating a family and individual preparedness program and word got out like a brush fire so that’s what I talked about.” Her presentation is very visual she said. “I got stuck with this big doll house so I detailed it with lights and turned it into an earthquake house,” she laughed. “I have a motor that shakes it and a CD of the California earthquakes that I added.” After sharing her presentation with some school children, she received letters of thanks titled “earthquake lady” and the name was born. “I’ll give ideas on what to have in a kit from items you probably already have,” she said. “Every member of the family should have a kit because they’re all different – and don’t forget your pets.” She suggests items such as extra clothes, socks, undergarments a small first aid kit and bottles of water. “I recommend a separate container for food that you can grab and go with granola bars, hard candy and peanut butter bars,” said Hoff. “When you’re upset your brain doesn’t think and you lose energy. Having these items will give you protein to get your energy back.” Hoff will cover safe areas and ways individuals can protect themselves wherever they are. “Whether you’re at home, work or the doctor’s office if you’re inside with solid walls the center of the building is the safest place,” she said. “Door frames are a safe place to take cover too. Remember drop, cover, and hold on. Get under a desk, chair or table and hold on to the leg because the table will move and you don’t want it to move away from you.” Making an emergency plan and being informed about warnings by listening to the radio, TV or the EDS emergency system is also critical. “If you receive a knock at the door and authorities tell you that you need to leave your home, your kits are ready to grab and you’re out of there,” said Hoff. “Right there people think, ‘I don’t even have a kit,’ and that gets them started.” Communication could be difficult during an earthquake so Hoff encourages individuals and families to have a family meeting plan and an out of state contact in case they can’t call each other. “Prepare before the earthquake happens,” said Hoff. “Take the heavy glass bowls from the top shelves and store them on a lower one. Just simple things to prevent injury.” “Shaking Things Up!” is March 27 from 7 to 8 p.m. in the South Davis Junior High School cafeteria, 298 W. 2600 South, Bountiful. Additional parking is available at the LDS church at 2651 S. 500 West.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.