Hill to participate in state-wide earthquake exercise

  • Published
  • By Donovan Potter, 75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah – “Drop, cover and hold on” is the theme for the Great Utah ShakeOut training exercise scheduled to take place April 20 here.

Although an earthquake preparedness drill can be held any day of the year, Hill AFB will join in the statewide exercise that kicks off at 10:15 a.m.

In doing so, units and organizations should activate their Unit Control Centers and personnel should demonstrate drop, cover and hold on procedures upon notification the exercise has started.

Exercise Wing Inspection Team members will observe and assess these actions as well as question personnel on what hazards to be aware of after an earthquake. All units are encouraged to participate.

There are unique dangers associated with Utah’s geography, particularly with the Wasatch Fault that stretches nearly 240 miles from southern Idaho, through northern Utah, before ending in central Utah.

“According to geological record, the Wasatch Fault is around 100 years overdue for a 7.0 or larger earthquake,” said Carl Wiggins, Hill’s Installation Emergency Manager. “Hill AFB is located only a few miles from the fault line and could experience major disruptions and infrastructure damage if an earthquake of this magnitude, or larger, happened within the vicinity of the installation.”

Wiggins said drills such as these are important because you can’t see an earthquake coming like you would a hurricane and there is no earthquake season.

“They can happen anytime of the year, day or night,” he said. “To be prepared, it is important people know, and practice Drop, Cover, Hold-on procedures so that they become automatic. Muscle-memory is key.

For more earthquake preparedness resources, visit www.bereadyutah.gov.