A Utah State University team and officials of Salt Lake County have collaborated in a project to help prepare Utahns for future earthquakes.
USU sociologist Gary E. Madsen and engineer Loren R. Anderson collaborated with Jerald Barnes, director of planning for Salt Lake County, on the investigation with a grant from the U.S. Geological Survey.Their first effort, undertaken before last year's San Francisco earthquake, was to send out questionnaires to planners, building officials, community and government officials to find out what policy options those groups supported. The options were then taken to the public, community leaders, the Salt Lake Board of Realtors and the Salt Lake Homebuilders Association.
Respondents indicated they would be receptive to an education program that would help government leaders, officials and the public understand and help mitigate earthquake hazards, Madsen said.
They used a portion of the grant to develop an educational package. Madsen said a slide program was converted to video with a narration.
The 22-minute production relates mainly to Salt Lake County and other parts of the Wasatch Front. A third thrust will be to develop a more generic version of the video for presentation to the Utah League of Cities and Towns at its coming meeting in St. George and other such groups.
The new version will be slanted toward the 700,000 people who might be affected by a major local quake. There are areas in Utah besides Salt Lake County where preparedness is important, Madsen said.
The video points to areas that need to be upgraded, braced or strengthened: lifelines such as roads, critical facilities such as hospitals, police and fire stations and high occupancy buildings, such as schools.
Madsen said that individuals can take simple measures that can have high benefits.