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Catastrophic Disaster

“…any natural or manmade incident, including terrorism, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the population, infrastructure, environment, economy, national morale, and/or government functions.”

Right now, the Salt Lake segment of the Wasatch Fault has enough tension to rupture at any time. The earthquake is expected to be a 7.0 magnitude or higher and will displace an estimated one-third of the population of Salt Lake County or 350,000 people. Many roads will become impassable, and for much of the valley, emergency services will be delayed for 96 hours or more. Getting individuals home following a catastrophic disaster will prove to be difficult, with commuters stretching from Utah to Weber counties.w-red sismgphcFlyer SAFE – Trifold-

Basic Steps for Individuals and Households

  1. Make a Plan

The SAFE Neighborhoods Program is designed to complement the residents’ existing household emergency plans. The plan is dependent on personal preparedness. S.A.F.E. Neighborhoods establishes a meeting place after a catastrophic earthquake.

  1. Build a Kit

It is recommended that each person in every household should have a 96-hour kit ready and accessible for an emergency. Individual and Family Plan Resources:

  1. Be Informed

The SAFE Neighborhoods Program supports and depends on individual and family preparedness. Become informed about programs in your local area that provide education and disaster training.

Individuals and families should be informed about:

Basic Steps for Neighborhoods

The three basic steps are: Communicate, Re-unite Households and Find Shelter.


After a catastrophic earthquake all common communications networks will be compromised or overloaded. The SAFE Neighborhoods Program addresses communication in part by:

  • Establishing communications hubs at the neighborhood schools using amateur radio operators and providing information to your local EOC (Emergency Operations Center) on the number of individuals who have “checked in” at the school location
  • Provide information to the neighborhoods from the EOC on additional hazards/emergencies, protective measures to be taken, general public information/notifications, state of the city reports, medical services/supplies locations, etc.

2.-Re-Unite Households

Depending on the time of day and even the time of year, reuniting of households will be a significant issue. The SAFE Neighborhoods Program assists in addressing this issue in several ways:

  • Since schools have a legal obligation to provide for the safety of children until returned to a parent or legal guardian (state rule R277-400), the SAFE Neighborhoods Program helps to expedite this process if an earthquake occurs during the school year while children are at school.
  • The SAFE Neighborhoods program provides a commonly known location for people to get information about the location and welfare of family members.
  • It supports the Transportation Plan in the Earthquake Annex of the local Emergency Operations Plan.


The SAFE Neighborhoods Program will provide information regarding sheltering and access to basic needs in the event of an earthquake. The SAFE Neighborhoods Program helps to address these issues by:

  • Partnering with the school district to provide a more survivable facility for residents to reunite with their households.
  • The SAFE Neighborhoods program encourages each neighborhood to develop a Neighborhood Preparedness Committee to garner neighborhood support and resources to help meet basic human needs, such as sanitation, until basic infrastructure is repaired or other resources can be deployed
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