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Preparedness expo to teach earthquake resilience

By Joe Dougherty

For the Deseret News

Published: Monday, April 9 2012 11:21 a.m. MDT

Carly Thompson holds her son Koleman (cq) as Elizabeth Johnson, left, gives a demonstration of a hand grinder at Emergency Essentials in Orem Thursday, February 10, 2005. Thompson had recently bought food supply kits from the company and was in to the store to pick up a few additional items.

Jason Olson

Enlarge photo»

Editor's note: This article is part of a series on earthquake preparation.

Imagine for a moment that the worst has happened: a magnitude 7.0 earthquake in the middle of winter. Think about what that means.

One minute of intense shaking is enough to collapse 10,000 buildings, kill 2,300 people and injure 30,000 others. Building damage is estimated at $35 billion. Infrastructure (that’s roads, bridges and pipelines for water, sewer and natural gas) would be damaged to the tune of another $35 billion. It would be devastation.

Roads would be impassible, stopping you from getting around, but also stopping first responders from helping the critically injured. Hospitals and stores would be overrun.

And immediately, we would begin to think about survival.

I paint the picture of devastation so that you can mentally prepare for what your role will be. It’s simple.

Take care of yourself, take care of your family, take care of your neighbors. Then go to work.

Utah’s recovery from a major earthquake will require all of us. That’s why Utah Disaster Kleenup and Emergency Essentials have sponsored this column. Over the next few weeks as the Great Utah ShakeOut, now with 834,000 participants, comes and goes, we need to think about what we will do in the aftermath.

Consider attending Utah Prepare Conference and Expo, being held Saturday, April 14, at the Davis Conference Center, 1651 N. 700 West, Layton.

Sponsored by Utah State University Extension, workshop topics will include using food storage, food storage shelf life, earthquake preparedness, containers and oxygen absorbers, raised bed gardening, water and filtration, fuel sources, mock root cellars, grab-and-go boxes and much more. Vendors will be on hand with their products, and door prizes will be given out.

Keynote speakers are Utah Lt. Gov. Greg Bell and preparedness expert Barbara Salsbury. Authors Crystal Godfrey, Joy Bossi and Karen Bastow are also guest presenters. This will be a day of learning beyond the basics.

“We are going to take an in-depth look at preparedness,” says Teresa Hunsaker, USU Extension family and consumer sciences agent. The conference and expo is designed to teach how to be more resilient in recovery when disasters happen.

Conference registration is $7 and is available online at utahprepare.org. Doors open at 7:30 a.m., with keynote speakers at 8:15 a.m., and workshops will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Joe Dougherty is a preparedness expert and the spokesman for the Utah Division of Emergency Management and Be Ready Utah. Send your preparedness tips to jdougherty@utah.gov. Daily preparedness tips are available at twitter.com/bereadyutah.

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