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Part two: Checking your earthquake preparedness

Article Published 01/05/2015

Should an earthquake strike along the Wasatch Front, is your Layton City household prepared?
The Layton area has a geological history of damaging earthquakes in prehistoric times. The evidence is that strong earthquakes are likely in the future.
Sadly, the bulk of Utah’s population is located along the Wasatch Front, also the area of the greatest potential earthquake hazard.
Many of the old buildings have little resistance to quakes.
Here are some simple things to learn that will help you be better prepared:
-Create a 72-hour emergency kit and have it handy by your door.
-Have a crescent wrench to turn off the natural gas coming into your house if you have a leak. Know how to use the tool to shut off the gas, if needed.
-Anchor your water heater to a sturdy wall, so that it does not fall during an earthquake.
-If you own your home, consider earthquake insurance with your homeowner’s policy. The cost is reasonable for frame houses, though coverage for brick structures can be more costly. Policies generally pay all but the first five percent of total damages.
-Take a few minutes and walk through your home or apartment and assess heavy or breakable items that would likely fall during a quake. Relocate such items, or restrain them. Especially consider items that could fall onto beds and cause injury.
-Have at least a three-day supply of food, water and medicine on hand for every family member.
-Make plans on the location where family members will reunite.
-Learn the policies of the school or daycare where your children attend.
-If you have a family member who does not speak English, prepare an emergency card, written in English with their identification, medical information and emergency contacts.
-Practice earthquake:  “Duck, Cover & Hold
Drills” every six months with your family.
-Know in advance the safest place in each room, since it
will be difficult to move from one room to another during an earthquake.
-Outline all the possible ways to exit your house or apartment in an emergency.
-During an earthquake: stay away from heavy furniture, appliances, glass windows or panels, and shelves. Also, keep away from kitchens and garages, since they usually have a lot of dangerous items stored there.
-For more information on quake preparation, go to: 
www.utah.gov/beready/earthquakePreparedness.html