Great Utah ShakeOut: State’s largest earthquake drill happens today

Apr 18, 2024, 9:00 AM | Updated: 11:03 am

A fourth grade student sits under her desk during the 2023 Great Utah ShakeOut drill....

Fourth grader Liz Zheng sits under her desk while holding onto the desk legs during in the Great Utah ShakeOut, the statewide earthquake preparedness drill, at Canyon View Elementary School in Cottonwood Heights on Thursday, April 20, 2023. (Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)

(Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY— At 10:15 a.m., people across the state will drop, cover, and hold onto something as part of the Great Utah ShakeOut.

The drill is intended to help people know what to do when Utah experiences another major earthquake.

According to Be Ready Utah, more than 930,000 people have registered online to participate in the drill.

Tune in to Dave & Dujanovic

Great Utah ShakeOut helps people prepare

Wade Mathews with the Utah Division of Emergency Management told KSL NewsRadio the best thing to do in a major earthquake is to drop, cover, and hold on.

For example, if you’re at work and you have a desk, get underneath it and hold onto chair legs, or something else until the shaking stops.

If you don’t have something to hide under, Mathews said it’s best to go to a wall without glass or anything dangerous overhead. Then, put your hands over your neck and head.

Not if, but when

The U.S. Geological Survey believes the Wasatch Front has a 50 to 75% chance of experiencing a damaging earthquake within the next 100 years.

Mathews said knowing what to do when an earthquake strikes can be the difference between life and death.

He also said the 5.7 magnitude Magna earthquake in 2020 was technically only a moderate earthquake. Utah has the potential to see a much stronger one.

Mathews said people can participate in the Great Utah ShakeOut on Thursday at 10:15 or another time that’s most convenient for them.


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Great Utah ShakeOut: State’s largest earthquake drill happens today