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Emergency officials using Florence to remind people to be prepared for a disaster

SALT LAKE CITY – People on the Atlantic Coast are bracing themselves for Hurricane Florence, but, they’ve had a few days warning.  Emergency officials in Utah say people in the Beehive State will get no warning, whatsoever, when a crisis happens here.

Earthquakes, tornados and even an active shooter… these are some examples of the kinds of emergencies Utahns could face.  We’ve been told for years to have a 72 hour emergency kit prepared so we can use it at a moment’s notice.  However, Utah Division of Emergency Management Spokesman Joe Dougherty says 72 hours of supplies isn’t enough to last after a major catastrophe.

“That is very shocking to a lot of people because they’ve been told, ‘I need three days.’  We don’t expect there to be help available for everybody for at least a week,” Dougherty says, adding, “That means you’re going to have to have emergency supplies with you at all times in your car.  That may be the place that is keeping you the most safe in any given incident.”

Along with the usual supplies like food, water, gasoline and a source of heat, Dougherty says, “Do you have someone you could contact?  Do you have cell phone numbers written down on a piece of paper?”

He says there are people who believe they don’t need to prepare for a deadly disaster.  For instance, if a 7.0 magnitude earthquake were to hit the Wasatch Front, many Utahns have told his office they feel the quake would essentially kill everyone.  However, Dougherty says that’s simply not true.

“Most people are going to survive the disaster, in any disaster,” he adds.

Dougherty also says people have a tendency to forget to pack items for their pets.