The Valley Journals

MURRAY--The Murray History Advisory Board has identified a unique way to participate in the statewide Utah Shakeout scheduled for April 17-19. The Shakeout, a coordinated program between several state and local agencies, is designed to help Utah residents and businesses prepare for the potential of a major earthquake striking along the Wasatch Front.

Since much of the building stock in Murray City was built before 1970 when stricter building codes were enforced, the board feels it is important for owners of older buildings to educate themselves about what types of things can be reasonably done to an older home to reduce damage and loss in an earthquake event.

In early building techniques, many homes were not connected to their foundations and roofs were not fastened to the walls - allowing the building to pancake in a major earthquake. Working with the city building official, the board plans to host neighborhood meetings throughout older subdivisions built before 1970 during April and May to help educate homeowners.

They are looking for 6-10 homeowners who represent typical building construction in their neighborhoods who would allow the building official to use their home as an example of construction styles and meet with neighbors outside of their home to review simple techniques to minimize loss. These 60-minute neighborhood meetings will be publicized through the Murray Journal, and flyers will be distributed to neighbors. If you are interested in hosting a neighborhood instructional forum, contact Mary Ann Kirk at 801-264-2638.

Tom Haraldsen is the assistant managing editor of The Valley Journals newspaper group, and is currently president of the Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.