Radio check – Exercise hosted to check preparedness levels

Central Utah Public Health Department’s Philip Whitlock participates in a radio check during the Great Utah Shake Out April 16, in Richfield. Ham radio users across the county participated in the exercise.

Each year emergency responders and communities at large participate in the Great Utah Shake Out. 

Hosted April 16, this year’s event took on a different form as people had to participate without gathering together.

“The sirens were set off simultaneously and everything worked out pretty well,” said Deputy Bill Taufer, emergency manager for Sevier County.

Some offices evacuated the staff they had onsite. 

One of the things tested during this year’s shake out was the capability of the region’s ham radio. 

“We had a couple reports come in from the ham radio guys and they were able to communicate,” Taufer said. “The sheriff actually used his handheld radio. With the virus we weren’t able to get in to all the radios in the region, but we were able to test a lot of them.”

Each year emergency management officials use the shake out as a way to challenge people to check their preparedness level for not just earthquakes, but other emergencies as well. 

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