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After two earthquakes in Utah reported, an expert weighs in on emergency preparedness

Posted at 5:35 PM, Feb 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-15 22:49:16-05

BLUFFDALE, Utah -- A pair of earthquakes in Bluffdale Friday morning could be giving Utah residents a jolt in thinking about emergency preparedness.

The company Emergency Essentials reported seeing a 17 percent increase in traffic to their website and blog after the quakes hit, as people went online to see how to stock up.

"They want to know, 'What should I do? What should I plan on? What should I have, in case this were to get worse?'" said Duane Sprague, Vice President of Marketing for Emergency Essentials.

He said they carry more than 200 food items and 2,000 survival supplies to help families in an emergency event.

Even though Friday's earthquakes each registered under a 4.0 magnitude with minimal damage reported, Sprague indicated that these kinds of events tend to bring preparedness to top-of-mind.

He said it's important to think about food, water, gear, first aid, power and light. Sprague recommended keeping a kit on hand with enough food, water, and supplies to last at least 72 hours, though preferably up to two weeks.

He said FEMA now recommends two-week kits, instead of 72-hour kits.

"You need to have staples," he said. "You need to have things to keep your family fed."

Those items include freeze dried and non-perishable food, and at least a gallon of water per person, per day, he explained.

One of their most popular products is their 72-hour kit, he said. In addition to a food kit, he suggested a 72-hour kit with other safety and survival items like dust masks, hand warmers, a multi-tool, matches, batteries, and a sleeping bag.

"They recommend flashlights, they recommend a first aid kit," he said, of what FEMA suggests for non-food items. "They recommend goggles, gloves, a registered device to turn off your gas valves and water heater valves."

Families should keep two kits on hand, Emergency Essentials says-- a kit to grab quickly if evacuating the home, as well as a kit to help shelter-in-place for days.

In addition to keeping the right supplies on hand to survive, Sprague said it's important to come up with a safety and evacuation plan.

The State of Utah runs a website that includes information for preparedness and emergency kits.