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West Jordan Journal

Students not shaken by Great Utah ShakeOut

May 06, 2024 01:16PM ● By Jet Burnham

Heartland Elementary students practice the “Drop, Cover and Hold On” response to the Great Utah ShakeOut earthquake drill April 18. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

“Jump under the desk and grab the legs, and then wait.” That is what third-grader Abby Aspenwall learned to do in the event of an earthquake. Abby and other Utah students practiced the “Drop, Cover and Hold On” response during the Great Utah ShakeOut earthquake drill held statewide on the morning of April 18. The purpose of the drill was to prepare students, teachers, staff members and parents to know how to respond during an actual earthquake.

“So if it’s real, you know exactly what to do, you know all the steps on what to do,” Abby said.

Abby was startled when she first heard the rumbling sounds that accompanied the announcement that the drill had begun, but she said she remained calm by reminding herself, “It’s okay, you know what to do, so it’s gonna be fine.” 

Heartland Elementary School Principal Buddy Alger said there was a lot of preparation for the drill in the days leading up to the event so that it would be a positive experience for students.

“We talked about how we would prepare for the Great ShakeOut, and what it would look like, and so they knew what to do,” he said. “We also made sure that each teacher talked through the drill with their students beforehand to make sure that nobody felt afraid during the drill.” λ