Recognizing potential hazards in your area and knowing what to do in such an event will help you take effective steps to prepare and eventually recover when and if it happens. They can either be natural, such as earthquakes and floods, or man-made such as technological disarray and civil unrest (riots).
Below are natural hazards more likely to occur in Salt Lake Valley. Click on the hazard to learn more on how to prepare for such an event.
Shelter-in-Place versus Evacuation
In the event of an emergency, some protective actions may need to be taken to protect yourself.
SHELTERING-IN-PLACE is appropriate when conditions require immediate protection. This can be in your own home, place of employment, school, or any other location where disaster may strike. During a shelter-in-place incident, it is best to go to an interior room, away from windows. Depending on what is occurring, getting under a stable piece of furniture, a closet, or a bathtub may be necessary to optimize survival.
EVACUATING is appropriate when a hazard has a heightened risk to human life and there is time to leave. This is common for hurricanes, wild fires, and some hazardous material spills.
Types of Weather Alerts
Depending on the time of year, we see many different weather events happen nationwide as well as locally. The National Weather Service has different levels of weather alerts that are used in the event of hazardous weather and, or hydrological events.
A WARNING is issued by the National Weather Service if hazardous weather or hydrologic event is actively occurring, imminent, or likely. This also means that the weather conditions actually pose a threat to life and/or property. People in the warning area need to take protective actions.
An ADVISORY is issued when a hazardous weather or hydrologic event is occurring, imminent, or likely. Advisories are for less serious conditions than warnings, conditions that can cause inconvenience and could lead into situations that may threaten life and/or property if caution is not exercised.
A WATCH is issued when the risk of hazardous weather has increased significantly but its occurrence, location, and timing remains uncertain. This level of alert means that hazardous weather is possible and people should have a plan of action in case a Warning is issued.
An OUTLOOK is issued when a hazardous weather or hydrologic event is possible in the next week. This alert is used to raise awareness of the potential severe weather than could occur. Most Outlooks are more accurate one to three days out from the potential event.