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Utahns urged to 'Drop, Cover and Hold On' during annual earthquake drill Thursday morning

Great ShakeOut
Posted at 6:17 AM, Apr 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-15 10:23:47-04

SALT LAKE CITY — April 15 marks the annual "Great Utah ShakeOut" drill, in which Utahns are urged to "Drop, Cover and Hold On" for 60 seconds as if an actual earthquake were occurring.

"There will not be any freeway closures, power outages, or other simulated effects of the hypothetical earthquake, unless your local government or utility company specifically notifies you about something of this nature," the Great Utah ShakeOut" website explains.

WATCH: The March 18, 2020 earthquake happened while FOX 13 was live

"We know that earthquakes can be devastating, they can be damaging. We know that the Wasatch Fault has the potential of a magnitude 7.0 earthquake, which is 100 times larger than the 5.7 magnitude quake that we experienced in Magna last year," said Wade Mathews, public information officer, Utah Division of Emergency Management.

The drill, which begins at 10:15 a.m., also gives businesses and agencies an opportunity to review safety protocols, exits and facility evacuations,

This year, nearly 724,000 participants are registered to take part in the event.

The "Drop, Cover and Hold On" recommendation is a means of reducing the risk of injury during an earthquake.

"Drop" to your hands and knees to avoid being knocked down.

"Cover" your head and neck with one arm and hand as you seek a table or desk to get under for shelter. If no table or desk is available, crawl to an interior wall away from windows and stay on your hands and knees to keep your vital organs protected.

"Hold On" until the shaking stops. Keep one hand on your table or desk and be ready to move with your shelter if it shifts. If you're not using a table or desk as shelter, cover your head and neck with both arms and hands.

Public safety officials recommend keeping a supply kit with first-aid materials, a 14-day supply of food and essential items, and a flashlight and shoes near the bed in case of a nighttime quake.

Families are urged to have a safety plan, including a predetermined meeting point. Drivers should be prepared to pull over during an earthquake, but not underneath bridges and overpasses or near power lines.

RELATED: One year later, Magna sausage maker reflects on devastating earthquake

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