Are you Ready for the "Great Shake"?

It’s hard to imagine anything more earth shattering than the fact that Blac Chyna finally gave birth to Rob Kardashian’s child (kidding), or the results of this insane past election (not really kidding). However, an actually earth-shaking event---meaning an earthquake—is a danger we are all susceptible to, and something we all need to be aware of and properly prepared for.

Growing up in Salt Lake City, many of my peers and I were trained from our elementary school days to hide under our desks and cover our heads at the sound of a siren, mimicking the action we should take to stay safe in the event of an earthquake. Drills like this are extremely valuable, because they instill in people from a young age what kinds of actions should be taken in case of an earthquake—since in such high pressure and danger situations, it’s difficult to be able to think rationally quickly enough.

However, something that should be emphasized more is being prepared for what comes after an earthquake. In the aftermath, there is sure to be a lot of infrastructural damage, making a lot of roads impossible to drive on and a lot of stores unsafe to enter. It’s important to have planned ahead for the challenges of being safe even after an earthquake. The Utah government has a great program and website called “Be Ready Utah,” with lots of helpful tips about how to be ready. One of the biggest things they advise is having enough supplies set aside to last three days after an earthquake. That means food, water, clothing, medical supplies, etc. Also, have your entire family agree on a meeting place in case you are all not together in the event of an earthquake. Be sure than you know how to shut off the water, gas, and electricity values, and have copies of all the most vital documents in a safe deposit box somewhere.

Very recently, there was a large earthquake that shook up New Zealand. This comes only several years after a large earthquake that happened there in 2011 and killed 185 people. In light of such scary events, it’s important for all of us to do what we can to help those affected by natural disasters, like earthquakes, especially in third-world countries that are hit particularly hard, like Haiti was in 2010. Also, make sure that you are your family are ready. Participating in events like the “Great Utah ShakeOut,” which is next set to happen on April 20th, 2017, is a good way to practice a safety drill and make sure you’re prepared!

Resources to check out:

http://www.utah.gov/beready/earthquakePreparedness.html

http://www.shakeout.org/utah/