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Ahead of the Great Utah Shakeout, experts share home safety tips

Ahead of the Great Utah Shakeout, experts share home safety tips


SALT LAKE CITY – Utah's great shaking occurs Thursday morning at 10:15. That's when residents practice earthquake safety drills – falling, sheltering and holding on – at work, school or home.

Wade Matthews of the Utah Department of Emergency Management joins Dave and Dujanovic to discuss how to make your home earthquake safe.

Since no one knows where they will be during the next earthquake, Matthews advised going indoors to check for hazards.

Great Utah Shakeout: Safe water heater and tall furniture

One of the first items on your earthquake safety checklist is to secure your water heater so it doesn't tip over during an earthquake, Matthews said. If the water heater falls, it could rupture the gas line and cause a fire or explosion.

Point recommends:

When securing the water heater, it is important to secure both the top and bottom with two separate heavy-duty metal straps. Securing the middle of the tank may not be enough if the earthquake is strong enough to move the water heater at its base.

“Make sure it's mounted on the wall. This [the] Building code now. So, newer homes should be automatic. but [for] Old houses, check it out. Even newer homes — for peace of mind — have them checked to make sure they're fixed to the wall.

“There's also water that can get you through a few days of drinking, cooking and cleaning,” Matthews added.

Tall furniture, large-screen TVs, bookcases, stackable washer/dryer, etc. should also be mounted to the wall or floor.

“These things need to be fixed to the wall. They can be done.” [so] He does not see. It is above eye level. “This will keep it from falling on us during the earthquake and protect it from damage,” Matthews said.

Even though the furniture is fixed to the wall, an earthquake may cause items to fly off the shelves, so lower heavier items near or on the floor. Secure kitchen cabinets with child-resistant locks.

Does your child have heavy items like books or trophies on the shelf above his or her bed? Matthews said he uses contact paper or adhesive putty to secure items to the shelves.

Earthquake coverage

If you don't have earthquake insurance, FEMA and most homeowners' insurance are unlikely to cover all earthquake damage, Matthews said.

“We think after a major disaster [that] FEMA will come in and save the day and just provide all this money. What they do is make your home livable again. They do not restore it to its original state.”

More than 900,000 participants have registered for the Great Utah Shakeout.

“Registration is not required, but please do. We're almost at 1 million. We're very close to our goal. . . . This can also link you to our Be Ready Utah page to see all this earthquake preparedness stuff we've talked about,” Matthews said. “.


Volcanic activity is a likely cause of the central Utah earthquakes

A 5.7 magnitude earthquake was reported near Magna, and shaking was felt throughout northern Utah

A 3.6 magnitude earthquake was felt in Zion National Park and surrounding areas

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL News Radio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as on Apple Podcasts and Google Play.

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