BOX ELDER COUNTY – By Cari Doutre – April 15, 2020
Schools and classrooms across the state of Utah are empty right now while students are at home participating in online learning, but that doesn’t mean students can’t participate in The Great Utah ShakeOut Day on Thursday, April 16, 2020.
The timing couldn’t be better too. In the past four weeks Utah has been hit hard by earthquakes, most with an epicenter near Magna, Utah. Thousands of aftershocks have followed since the 5.7 magnitude earthquake in Magna on March 18, 2020.
Most recently, another earthquake struck on Tuesday, April 14, 2020. The 4.2 magnitude earthquake’s epicenter was also in Magna. In Idaho, a 6.5 magnitude earthquake hit near Boise on March 31, 2020.
On March 16, all public schools in Utah were officially dismissed, or to undergo a “soft closure” to prevent further spreading of COVID-19 (coronavirus). That order, given by Utah Governor Gary Herbert, has been extended for the rest of the 2019-20 school year.
Although schools are not participating in this drill this year, Box Elder School District recommends that families still participate in this educational event.
The Great Utah ShakeOut drill is scheduled for 10:15 a.m. on April 16.
“This means that wherever you are at that moment – at home, at work, at school, anywhere – you should drop, cover and hold on as if there were a major earthquake occurring at that very moment, and stay in this position for at least 60 seconds,” stated The Great Utah ShakeOut organization on their website.
No closures will be made to freeways and no power outages are planned unless local government or utility companies otherwise specify.
“The ShakeOut is not something you need to leave work to participate in – in fact, participating at work is encouraged,” the organization added.
The purpose of the drill is to prepare residents in Utah for major earthquakes. Anyone in Utah can participate including families and places of business.
It is recommended that all who want to participate register ahead of time so that everyone can be counted. That can be done by clicking on the link below.
Additional information and resources on emergency preparedness can be found on these two links below.