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State Working to Increase Participation in Great Utah ShakeOut

Dan Bammes
Joe Dougherty with the Utah Division of Emergency Management displays his emergency sanitation system

  Fewer people are signed up for the Great Utah ShakeOut earthquake drill this year, but state officials are still hoping to get the message out about emergency preparedness. About 827,000 people are signed up through their businesses and schools to participate in the Great Utah ShakeOut Thursday morning at 10:15.  Last year, it was more than 900,000.

Joe Dougherty with the Utah Division of Emergency Management says they’re making a serious effort this year to reach people who may not know about Utah’s vulnerability to earthquakes – especially new arrivals and those who don’t speak English.

“There’s a barrier there to getting correct information out both for emergencies and for preparedness," Dougherty tells KUER. "And so that’s one of the things we’re striving to learn how to do right now.  In fact, we sent our first tweet in Spanish the other day.”

Dougherty says lots of people know about preparing 72-hour kits with food, water and medicine.  But he says we need to think about other basic needs as well.  His family has an emergency toilet made from a five-gallon plastic bucket, a snap-on seat and kitty litter.

Displaying the bucket, Doughterty adds, “It’s just a little pop-top lid and a very sturdy seat.”

Information about the ShakeOut and preparing for an earthquake is available at

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