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Prepare for the 'big one' at Thursday's Great Utah ShakeOut

Wednesday , April 18, 2018 - 5:15 AM

Get ready for the practice rumble. 

The annual Great Utah ShakeOut drill is scheduled for 10:15 a.m. Thursday, April 19. At that moment, participants are asked to drop, cover and hold on whenever they are “as if there were a major earthquake occurring at that very moment, and stay in this position for at least 60 seconds,” according to the ShakeOut website. 

More than 920,000 organizations and individuals have registered to participate in the ShakeOut, including 33,521 participants in Weber County and 99,805 in Davis County.

RELATED: Next big Wasatch Fault earthquake could damage homes, schools

RELATED: Out Standing in a Field podcast: What Utah's past earthquakes mean for the future

The purpose of the ShakeOut is to prepare Utah residents so they know what to do before, after and during an earthquake. Utah averages a magnitude 6 earthquake once every 15-20 years, according to the ShakeOut website, and the majority of Utah’s population lives in active earthquake zones along the 240-mile Wasatch Fault. 

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Though there hasn’t been a major, damaging earthquake in Utah for decades, the Wasatch Front has a 43 percent probability of experiencing one or more earthquakes of a 6.75 magnitude in the next 50 years, and a 57 percent probability for a 6.0 magnitude quake, according to the Working Group on Utah Earthquake Probabilities.

Aside from “drop, cover and hold on” drills, individuals, families and businesses are encouraged to create a disaster preparedness plan, organize and refresh emergency supply kits, secure loose items in the home that could fall during an earthquake, and inspect buildings for structural weaknesses. To learn more about earthquake preparedness, visit earthquakecountry.org/sevensteps.

To register for the ShakeOut, visit ShakeOut.org/Utah/register.

Reach digital producer Jessica Kokesh at 801-625-4229 or jkokesh@standard.net. You can also follow her on Twitter at @JessicaKokesh or Facebook.com/ByJessKokesh.

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