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Utahns prepare for major earthquake in 'Great Shakeout'

OGDEN, Utah (ABC4 Utah) - First responders may be better prepared after an mock disaster drill today.
OGDEN, Utah (ABC4 Utah) - First responders may be better prepared after an mock disaster drill today.

As the hum of several medical helicopters filled the air, dozens of Weber County's emergency workers put their skills to the test as part of Utah's Great ShakeOut. Today's event was a mock disaster drill that played out across the state in order to prepare for a potential earthquake.

Lieutenant Danielle Croyle from the Ogden City Police Department said, "It gets the key players involved, working together collaboratively."

Practice with several agencies may make perfect. Croyle said, "If there's shortfalls... we can get them corrected prior to having an incident like this."

Geological experts have said that an earthquake in Utah is imminent.  Right now 90 percent of Utahns live along the Wasatch Fault which means major injuries will likely follow a major quake.

For that reason, Gary Davis volunteered in today's mock disaster.

"You never know what's gonna happen," he said.  "You don't know what's going to happen to you or your family.  It's always better to be prepared."

Today, Davis faked a leg injury to help responders get things right.

"If we help them out now when it actually becomes an emergency it will be easier for them to figure out how to get it done properly instead of making mistakes," he said. 

Davis was not alone.  Almost 200 volunteers participated in the Ogden's ShakeOut event.  Some, marked with black bands around their wrists, even played dead.

For Croyle, that made today's rehearsal all too real.  "It is hard when you're looking at this stuff," she said.  "If we really had a mass casualty type circumstance that it is draining and it is traumatic." 

First responders told ABC4 Utah that the most important thing learned in today's exercise was to be prepared.  For more on how you can prepare for the worst click here or here









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