Preparing For Disaster: Starting Now

(City // State) A geological feature known as the Wasatch Fault spans from Southern Idaho to Central Utah. Roughly 80 percent of Utah's population lives along the fault, often in unreinforced masonry homes such as brick. It was the failure of buildings like these that compounded the devastation in Christchurch, New Zealand after a magnitude 6.3 earthquake in February 2011.

To bolster community awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters join (Channel) on (Date and Time) for Preparing For Disaster: Starting Now. The program is centered around the stories of survivors and provides important information on how to best prepare yourself and your family for disaster.

“As weather data, geologic reports and economic studies show an increasing trend in extreme weather events and the costs of recovery from those events over the past 30 years, the documentary reminds viewers why the best time to start preparing is today,” says producer Joe Prokop.

The one-hour documentary includes interviews with the victims of the Christchurch, New Zealand earthquakes, Hurricane Sandy and the Herriman, Utah wildfires. From their stories, along with advice from emergency experts, viewers learn practical tips for starting their own personal emergency plans. “You watch the news and someone says, ‘I never thought it’d happen to me, always someone else.’ Well, that’s what we need to prepare for,” says Logan Sisam, emergency services director for the Utah Region of the Red Cross.

Taking an all-hazards approach to emergency preparedness, Preparing for Disaster demonstrates how to create emergency communication plans. It also walks viewers through the process of building a 72-hour kit — which actually is simpler than it sounds. “As you look at all of the lists that are out there for an emergency kit, I bet everybody already has a lot of those things in their home,” says Margaret Oler, Rocky Mountain Power spokeswoman. “The thing is, they’re probably scattered.”

The program also highlights community efforts to organize and prepare, including a look at the earthquake plan at Salt Lake City’s Madeleine Choir School.

“When a disaster strikes, it is unlikely that emergency responders will be able to immediately address everyone’s needs,” said producer Joe Prokop. “So it’s up to you, your family members and neighbors to communicate and prepare in advance.”

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