AAA Offers Tips on Staying Prepared for the “Big One”
SALT LAKE CITY, April 17, 2009 – Utah is earthquake country, and AAA reminds Utahns that the best way to successfully ride out a quake is to prepare for it in advance.
        The Wasatch Range, with its outstanding ski areas, runs North-South through Utah. Like all mountain ranges, it was produced by a series of earthquakes, and quakes are still frequent occurrences in the state. On average, 13 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or larger occur in Utah each year. A quake of 5.5 to 6.5 occurs, on average, every seven years.
        “By making a minimal investment in time and money now,” explains Rolayne Fairclough, AAA Utah spokesperson, “you can help prevent serious damage and provide peace of mind for your loved ones in the event of a major quake.”
AAA Earthquake Safety Tips
·       Create an earthquake survival kit. This is one of the most important steps you can take. The kit should include canned goods, two to four quarts of water per person, per day, sanitary supplies, a camp stove, portable radio, flashlight, and spare batteries.
·       Know how to shut off your home’s gas, water, and electricity. You should also make sure your water heater is securely fastened to a wall or post with two metal straps.
·       Conduct family earthquake drills. Make sure everyone knows which areas in a room are safest. This may be underneath a table or against a wall. Stay away from windows, fireplaces, and tall furniture.
·       Decide where your family will reunite if you're separated. Choose a friend or relative you can call after a quake to let them know your location and condition. Phone lines are often overloaded or damaged in an earthquake and specifying one point of contact for your entire family will help alleviate strain on the system.
·       Childproof your cabinets’ latches. It may seem like an annoyance initially, but latches could prevent cabinets from flying open in a quake and keep precious belongings from breaking.
·       Check your insurance for earthquake coverage. Knowing what coverage you have can help speed up your recovery after a big quake. Most homeowner’s policies do NOT cover damage resulting from an earthquake and in most cases a separate earthquake policy is needed. You can find out more at AAA.com/insurance.
“We've seen major advances in infrastructure technology to deal with earthquakes,” said Fairclough. “But often it's the simple things that take only a few minutes now that can really help people cope with such a traumatic event.”
AAA Utah offers a wide array of automotive, travel, insurance, DMV, financial services and consumer discounts to more than 180,000 members. AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers since it was founded more than 100 years ago.