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Utah SAFE Program kicks off the National Emergency Preparedness Month


Salt Lake City, Utah – If Utah learns any lessons from the Magna earthquake and aftershocks in March, we don’t know when a disaster will strike, but preparation is required.

September is National Emergency Preparedness Month, and the Salt Lake City Emergency Department kicked off Tuesday by explaining how the Utah Assistance Families in Emergencies (SAFE) program is designed to respond quickly.

National Preparedness Month Week 1 September 1-5: Make a plan: Talk to friends and family about how to communicate before, during, and after the disaster strikes. Update your plan based on CDC recommendations due to Coronavirus.

– Be Ready Utah (@beReadyUtah) September 1, 2020

SAFE provides training and information to help neighborhoods respond and recover from a major disaster.

“It all starts with personal and home preparedness,” said John Flint, community preparedness coordinator at the Emergency Department in Salt Lake City. “It’s important to make sure that you and your family are really willing to do things to respond to help your neighbors as well.”

Flint said elementary schools are at the center of that relationship, mainly because there is at least one in every neighborhood.

To help, every elementary school in Salt Lake County has a so-called Just In Time Kit.

“What I’ve done is break things up and provide step-by-step instructions, broken down into functional components on how to organize your area to start doing those assessments and getting this information out to us in the emergency department,” said Flint.

This information will help quickly organize and set up medical assistance centers, find shelter for displaced residents, and arrange family reunification.

“I cannot emphasize how important it is to actually build those relationships with residents in the community and the school in advance of making plans,” Flint urged.

The other part of the SAFE program is for each family to assemble a 96-hour emergency kit. Depending on the extent of the damage from the disaster, it could take up to 96 hours for rescue workers to reach an area.

The kit should include food, water, medicine, and a seasonal kit and clothing.

There is more information on what to include in this 96 hour toolkit, as well as how to organize a family and neighborhood plan at


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