Utahns asked to drop, cover and hold on for ‘Great Utah Shakeout’

Posted at 5:53 PM, Apr 16, 2013

SALT LAKE CITY - Utahns will get a chance to practice for a major earthquake on Wednesday as part of the second annual Great Utah Shakeout.

Every year, Utah has around 800 earthquakes. Most are too small for residents to feel, but it's a reminder that we sit on top of fault lines that could potentially cause a catastrophic earthquake.

"Some people may not know that Utah is earthquake country," said Joe Dougherty with the Utah Division of Emergency Management. "If we had one that was a magnitude 7 or larger, it would really be devastating for the area."

So to prepare, the state is holding a "shakeout," encouraging Utahns to drop, take cover and hold on Wednesday.

"At 10:15, we are asking everybody to drop to the ground, take cover and hold on for one minute," Dougherty said.

There are already 840,000 people across the state registered to participate in the coordinated mock quake. More than 240 businesses and many schools along the Wasatch Front will get involved.

Officials hope the drill will help Utahns learn from their experience and make a plan, have emergency supplies on hand and be aware of potentially hazardous conditions.

"Take time. Look around yourself, check out your surroundings and see are there things that can fall on you if there were an earthquake. Are there items that can fall off shelves, is there furniture not secure to walls," Dougherty said.

For more about the Great Utah Shakeout, visit