SALT LAKE CITY — Ready or not, someday an earthquake will come, and Gov. Gary Herbert has declared July 17 as Utah Seismic Safety Commission Day to honor those who have worked for two decades to help Utahns be better prepared for earthquakes and their aftermaths.
For the past 20 years, the Utah Seismic Safety Commission, a crack team of volunteer scientists, engineers, emergency managers and elected officials, has been steadily working to help Utahns reduce the impact of a major earthquake, according to a press release, and it’s time for the public to meet these volunteers.
Thursday, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., the Utah Seismic Safety Commission’s 20th Anniversary and Look Back will occur in Salt Lake City at the Utah State Emergency Operations Center, and seismic Safety Commission members will be on hand to greet the public. In Southern Utah and throughout the state, residents are invited to honor these commission members and also reflect on their own levels of earthquake preparedness.
Utah has been ranked No. 6 in the nation in terms of relative earthquake risk by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, according to Gov. Herbert’s declaration.
Sometimes earthquakes are small, such as the recent spate of magnitude 3 earthquakes east of Centerville and in Sanpete County. Sometimes earthquakes are huge and devastating. In either case, thousands of Utahns owe their personal and professional preparedness to the Utah Seismic Safety Commission, according to the press release. The 15 commission members don’t seek the spotlight, the release said, but many Utahns have benefited from their educational products, draft legislation and mitigation efforts, such as:
- “Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country” – This guide to earthquake preparedness has been reprinted by the thousands and is in many Utah homes. Download it from BeReadyUtah.gov.
- HB278, sponsored by Rep. Gage Froerer, R-Huntsville, and signed into law in 2013, requires school districts to conduct seismic evaluations for certain buildings.
- A 2012 $150,000 budget line item to fund a seismic assessment of Utah K-12 schools.
- Various other publications are available on the Commission’s website.
The Utah Seismic Safety Commission invites resident participation in its meetings and activities. Meetings are held quarterly. Anyone wishing to attend a meeting, recommend an item for consideration or participate on a committee is asked to contact the commission.
- Utah Gov. Gary Herbert’s declaration recognizing Thursday as Seismic Safety Commission Day can be found here
- What: Utah Seismic Safety Commission 20th Anniversary and Look Back
- Where: Utah State Emergency Operations Center, 350 N. Columbus St., Salt Lake City
- When: Thursday, July 17, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
- Public information officers train in earthquake response
- Mag. 4.1 quake leads off two dozen earthquakes 37 miles from St. George
- The Great Utah Shake Out seeks earthquake preparedness
- Red Cross to open mock shelter for Utah earthquake drill