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Officials hope small earthquakes will convince people to prepare for “the big one”

(U.S. Geological Survey)

BLUFFDALE – It’s the kind of earthquake that emergency officials like.  Small but scary.

They hope the two earthquakes that hit Bluffdale this morning will convince more people to take emergency preparedness more seriously.

If you go by the comments on social media, these quakes were the very first ones that a lot of Utahns may have ever felt before.  Utah Division of Emergency Management Spokesman Joe Dougherty says he welcomed these people to the “first earthquake club.”

“This one, we were lucky that a lot of people got a wake-up call.  There were reports all over the Salt Lake Valley and into Utah County of people who felt these earthquakes,” he says, adding, “I don’t think people know what to expect if they haven’t been through this before.”

Dougherty says they’ve been trying to convince people about the importance of being prepared for a massive earthquake for a long time.  He recommends people buy extra cans of food every time they go shopping, and to take full advantage of case lot sales at stores.  Plus, families need to have a certain amount of water set aside.

“You want to have one gallon per person per day for about two weeks,” Dougherty says.

Also, he says people may want to reconsider where they put things around their beds.

“Some people have shelves or pictures or decorations near their bed.  This is a chance to re-evaluate that and say,’ Yeah, I probably don’t want any of this stuff falling on me.’”