When the Draper City Council meets April 17, it won't be for a traditional business meeting.
Instead, the council chambers will be converted into an emergency operations center coordinating the response to a mock magnitude-7 earthquake along the Wasatch Front.
Council members and other emergency-service officials will be there to answer residents' questions and demonstrate how the city would cope in a major disaster.
The activity is part of The Great Utah ShakeOut, a statewide earthquake drill that starts at 10:15 a.m. on April 17.
"One of the hardest things in emergency preparedness is getting the community actively involved in it," said Councilman Bill Rappleye, who is the council's liaison to the city's Emergency Preparedness Districts Committee. "Typically, we have an event where people get their 72-hour kits put together and they wait and wait, and nothing happens."
Rappleye said the drill will also give his colleagues a chance to practice their emergency-management skills, as well as see how well the city is prepared for an emergency.
Gary Vaughan, the Emergency Preparedness Committee chairman, said Rappleye suggested the council get involved in the drill.
On April 17, government, businesses and individuals will practice what to do in the event of a major earthquake. So far, more than 800,000 people statewide have signed up for the drill.
Vaughan said there will be activities throughout Draper during the drill. For instance, he will be staffing an emergency command post in the SunCrest development, where he lives, before heading to the city's emergency operations center.
"People can stop down at City Hall," Vaughan said, "and see what the elected officials would be doing [in an emergency]."
Draper will also have an open house that evening for people to learn more about emergency preparedness.
On the Web
O The Great Utah Shakeout • http://www.shakeout.org/utah/register