Be Ready Utah aims to prepare Utah residents for the Big One

A series of light earthquakes have unnerved some residents of Utah recently. But Wade Matthews, a manager  in the Utah Department of Public Safety’s Be Ready Utah, said it’s a good wake-up call.

“It’s fortunate there wasn’t a lot of, or really any damage or injury from these recent earthquakes that we’ve experienced here in Utah. But it’s good to have a little bit of an eye-opener to realize that, yes, we live in earthquake country, and they can happen at any time and we need to be ready for them right now,” he said.

On KVNU’s For the People program last week, Matthews said that families need to have a disaster plan in place. That plan should cover what to do during an earthquake but also during the aftermath. Families need to know how to take care of themselves when power may be out or when cell phone service is disrupted.

He said in addition to food storage, water storage is very important, especially when you think about how much water we use every day. The Great Shake-Out drill is scheduled for April 18th and his goal is to get 1 million Utahns signed up to participate. He said when it comes to quakes, think of the phrase ‘Drop, Cover and Hold-on’.

“Also, along with that, if you’re inside stay inside; if you’re outside stay outside, don’t run into or out of a building during an earthquake when things might be falling off and causing injury. The biggest cause of injury and death in an earthquake is from falling objects. That’s why you want to get that cover overhead (drop, cover and hold-on). If you’re in bed, just stay in bed, if you’re driving, just pull over on the side of the road. Try not to stop under a bridge or an overpass or power lines.”

Matthews said the sobering fact is that the Wasatch Fault runs from Idaho to Santaquin, Utah and a 7.0 magnitude or greater earthquake could occur along the fault at anytime. You can get more information on the Shake-Out drill and how individuals can prepare now at

AUDIO: Wade Matthews talks earthquake preparedness with FTP’s Jason Williams


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