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‘Drop, Cover, Hold on and Evacuate’

Participants in the Great Utah Shakeout learn how to better prepare and keep the campus community safe during a disaster. Brush up on what you need to know for the earthquake preparedness drill coming Thursday, April 16 at 10:15 a.m.

By Marty Shaub, Managing Director Environmental Health and Safety and Emergency Management

Drop, cover, hold on and evacuate. These are the actions the U wants you to know and practice during the Great Utah Shakeout, Thursday, April 16 at 10:15 a.m. Each year the university participates in this earthquake preparedness drill to learn how to better prepare for a disaster and keep the university community safe during a disaster.

This year the U will focus on the following components:

  • Test the Campus Alert system through email and SMS messages. Please make sure your text number is registered through the Campus Alert system at The university will also send emails, but texting is the fastest way to contact you in case of an emergency. In a real earthquake the U won’t need to text you right away to tell you it happened, but texting makes sense for many other incidents on campus.
  • Build muscle memory to “Drop, Cover, Hold On and Evacuate” in the event of an earthquake. After dropping under a chair or desk and holding on as the “earth shakes” at 10:15 a.m., please evacuate to an Emergency Assembly Point (EAP) near you. At each EAP participants will receive information and free giveaways (while supplies last). In an actual disaster, EAPs will serve as a place for information, accountability, safety and care. It is important that everyone knows where to assemble in the event of an emergency. Please note the number of EAPs has been expanded and in some cases changed their location.
  • Test the plan to account for people after a disaster. As you arrive at an EAP you will be asked to write your University Network ID (uNID) on a small card and drop it in a box before you pick up our giveaways. Your uNID is the best way for us to know that you came to an EAP. In a disaster, this information can be used to account for your “safe and well” status. Turning in your small card with your uNID will automatically enter you into a drawing for a chance to win one of the following:

First prize: GoPro HERO4

Second prize: Fitbit Charge HR

Third prize: LuminAID Lights

We appreciate the positive support from faculty, staff and students and encourage everyone to participate. The evacuation drill will involve individuals leaving their buildings for approximately 45 minutes. Participants are asked to proceed to normal class or business schedules by 11 a.m.

All students, faculty and staff should review the earthquake exercise information regarding participation at In areas where participation would adversely affect research operations, please review building emergency instructions for information on what to do before, during and after an earthquake or other emergency events.

Those with direct patient care and clinical responsibility will have limited participation but individuals in these areas should review emergency instructions. UUHC employees are directed to the Emergency Preparedness website via Pulse for more information on participation.

It is important to test the functionality of our emergency plans from time to time. It’s also important for each of us to practice responding quickly to protect ourselves and our university community when disaster strikes. Please take this opportunity to review the information provided on the university’s emergency management website at, as well as the State of Utah’s Be Ready Utah website at