Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Great Utah ShakeOut 2014

The Great Utah ShakeOut is now four months away -- April 17th at 10:15 a.m.

Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills are a chance to practice how to protect ourselves during big earthquakes, and also how to get prepared.

Sign up that you will be participating in the drill and you will receive email updates that will feature "The Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety" that may improve your preparedness for a big earthquake or other emergencies.

The first email I have received describes how to "Secure Your Space" to prevent objects from causing injuries or damage when they fall or are thrown across the room during earthquakes.

Step 1: Secure Your Space

Earthquake shaking can move almost anything, even large or heavy items. Imagine your home or workplace being picked up and shaken sideways – what would fall or be thrown around? How can you prevent it?

Secure your space by identifying hazards and securing movable items. Consider doing one item from the list below each week. You may need to ask others for help or to borrow tools. Perhaps you might help them in return, or help others in your community.  We're all in this together!

No cost:

  • Move heavy or large items to the floor or low shelves.
  • Move things that can fall on you away from where you spend a lot of time.
  • Move heavy or unstable objects away from doors and escape routes.

Low Cost:
  • Secure a water heater to wall studs with two metal straps.
  • Secure top-heavy furniture and appliances to wall studs.
  • Hang mirrors and pictures on closed hooks.
  • Secure computers and TVs with special straps.
  • Prevent small items from falling by using museum putty or wax.
  • Install latches on kitchen cabinets.
A bit more work or cost:
  • Use flexible connections where gas lines meet appliances (such as water heaters, ovens, and clothes dryers).
  • Secure overhead light fixtures.
  • Secure free-standing wood stoves or fireplace inserts.

These recommendations may also reduce injury or damage in other situations.  For example, a recent report showed that unsecured TVs that fall are injuring children across the country every day! So even if earthquakes are not common where you live or work, these suggestions are worthwhile to consider.

Visit EarthquakeCountry.org/step1 for additional information, instructions, and resources. You can also play the "Beat the Quake" game to test your knowledge for how to secure your space, and challenge your friends too!

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