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Washington County Emergency Operations Center Practices Earthquake Response for The Great Utah ShakeOut

90% of Utah’s population lives in Active Earthquake Zones. The Great Utah ShakeOut is our chance to practice together how to protect ourselves, and for everyone to become prepared. The goal is to save lives and prevent disasters from becoming catastrophes. In order to act quickly, you must practice what to do – ShakeOut is that opportunity.

As part of the Great Utah Shakeout, Washington County activated the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The EOC is the hub for information management, decision making, and resource support and allocation during an emergency response. Partnering with different agencies within the community, the EOC serves as a one-stop-shop to help Incident Commanders coordinate disaster relief efforts.

At 10:00 am, 21 April 2022, the Washington County EOC activated with participants from the county EOC office, the Washington County GIS department, the finance department, the Sheriff’s Office, the Washington County Public Works Department, the Washington County Assessor’s Office, the Civil Air Patrol, the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES), the Southwest Utah Public Health Department, and other community volunteers.  As part of the activation, the EOC practiced logging onto the WebEOC portal, walked through communicating with each other, practiced making requests, evaluated the finance approval process, created maps, and the ARES group reached out on the Ham radios and other communication tools.

In an actual earthquake, you may only have seconds to protect yourself before strong shaking knocks you down, or something falls on you. It is critical to practice “quake-safe” beforehand? When the adrenaline kicks in, you may not act safely if you haven’t practiced the Drop, Cover, Hold On drill before that moment. Don’t wait until the shaking. Check out the Great Utah Shakeout website for additional information

The goal of the EOC is to support incident commanders in the field and promote community preparedness.  Whether it be: earthquakes, floods, fires, or whatever else might happen, regular practice and training will make all the difference in responding efficiently.  Washington County is actively working to make this a great place to live, even when things go bad.  In a real emergency, connect with us on Facebook at Washcosafety for all the latest information and guidance.