Sevier County Emergency Plans and Resources


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Protect Your Pets in Case of Disaster

The best way to protect your family from the effects of a disaster is to have a disaster plan. If you are a pet owner, your plan and provisions should include your pets. It may be difficult, if not impossible, to find shelter for your animals in the midst of a disaster; so plan ahead.

Ask friends, relatives, or others outside the affected area whether they could shelter your animals if needed in an emergency. If you have more than one pet, they may be more comfortable if kept together; but be prepared to house them separately.

Contact hotels and motels outside your immediate area to check policies on accepting pets and restrictions on number, size, and species. Ask if “no pet” policies could be waived in an emergency. Keep a list of “pet friendly” places, including phone numbers with other disaster information and supplies. If you have notice of an impending disaster, call ahead for reservations.

Prepare a list of boarding facilities and veterinarians who could shelter animals in an emergency. Include 24-hour phone numbers.

Include pet supplies as part of your 5-day kit.


  • Portable carrier for each pet - of the appropriate size & design for your pets
  • Food and water bowls
  • Five day supply of food and water, stored in labeled plastic bottles
  • Litter and litter box for cats
  • Medications
  • First aid kit
  • Health records, including vaccination records
  • Instructions on your pet’s feeding schedule and diet, medications, and any special needs
  • Leashes, collars with identification tags
  • Complete contact information for you

Bring your pets inside immediately. Animals have instincts about severe weather changes and will often isolate themselves if they are afraid. Bringing them inside early can keep them from running away. NEVER LEAVE A PET OUTSIDE OR TIED UP DURING A STORM!

If you have no alternative but to leave your pet at home, there are some precautions you must take; but remember that leaving your pet at home alone could also place your animal in danger. Confine your pet to a safe area inside. Place a notice outside in a visible area, advising what pets are in the house and where they are located. Provide a phone number where you or a contact can be reached as well as the name and number of your vet. In some, short duration emergency situations, being left with appropriate supplies in familiar and safe surroundings can be easier on your pet.


A drought is a period of drier than normal conditions that results in water-related problems. Drought occurs in virtually all climatic zones, but its characteristics vary significantly from one region to another. Drought is a temporary condition; it differs from aridity, which is restricted to low rainfall regions and is a permanent feature of climate.


The following tips can help you conduct your own home water audit:
Check every faucet, toilet, showerhead, and hose bib for leaks. Even slow drips can use 15-20 gallons of water per day.
Check for hidden leaks in your water system. Turn off all faucets, then check your water meter. Wait 15 minutes, if the water meter has changed, you may have a leak.
Flush toilets only when needed. Use a water displacement device inside the tank to utilize less water.
Shorten your shower time. A 10 minute shower uses from 30 to 80 gallons of water.
Turn off the water while you brush your teeth. Keep a pitcher of cold water in the refrigerator, instead letting it run until it’s cold from the faucet.
When washing dishes by hand, turn off the water between rinsing. Only run full dishwashers and washing machines.
Try composting instead of using a garbage disposal. Your garden will love you and you can reduce the use of costly soil amendments while you save disposal water!
If you are remodeling or upgrading appliances, consider more resource efficient models. Many rebates are available.
Water in the early morning, more deeply and less often. Consider low-water landscaping, or Xeriscape and/or drip irrigation - watering only the plantings.


Earthquakes occur in Utah every day. Every few years, an earthquake is large enough for people to feel, and every few decades there is an earthquake that causes damage. Each year, the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network locates more than 1000 earthquakes greater than magnitude 1.0 in Utah. Of these, approximately two dozen are large enough to feel. These noticeable events offer a subtle reminder that the Pacific Northwest is an earthquake-prone region.

  • The severity of an earthquake is dependent upon a number of factors including:
  • The distance from the earthquake’s source (or epicenter);
  • The ability of the soil and rock to conduct the earthquake’s seismic energy;
  • The degree (i.e., angle) of slope materials;
  • The composition of slope materials;
  • The magnitude of the earthquake; and
  • The type of earthquake.

Three types of earthquakes:

Crustal Fault Earthquakes
These are the most common earthquakes and occur at relatively shallow depths of 6-12 miles below the surface. Utah’s risk comes from slippage events within the North American Plate. When crustal faults slip, they can produce earthquakes of magnitudes up to 7.0. Although most crustal fault earthquakes are smaller than 4.0 and generally create little or no damage, some of them can cause extensive damage. Known active faults in the region include the Wallula, Hite, Mount Angel, and Lake of the Woods fault zones. Of the three earthquake types, crustal earthquakes are the greatest threat to Jackson County.

Deep Intraplate Earthquakes
Occurring at depths from 18 to 60 miles below the earth’s surface in the subducting oceanic crust, deep intraplate earthquakes can reach magnitude 7.5. This type of earthquake is more common in the Puget Sound; in Utah these earthquakes occur at lower rates and have none have occurred at a damaging magnitude. The February 28, 2001 earthquake in Washington State was a deep intraplate earthquake. It produced a rolling motion that was felt from Vancouver, British Columbia to Coos Bay, Utah and east to Salt Lake City, Utah.

Subduction Zone Earthquakes
The Pacific Northwest is located at a convergent continental plate boundary, where the Juan de Fuca and North American tectonic plates meet. The two plates are converging at a rate of about 1.5 inches per year. This boundary is called the Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ). It extends from British Columbia to northern California. Earthquakes are caused by the abrupt release of this slowly accumulated stress.

Although there have been no large recorded earthquakes along the offshore Cascadia Subduction Zone, similar subduction zones worldwide do produce "great" earthquakes with magnitudes of 8 or larger. They occur because the oceanic crust "sticks" as it is being pushed beneath the continent, rather than sliding smoothly. Over hundreds of years, large stresses build which are released suddenly in great earthquakes. Such earthquakes typically have a minute or more of strong ground shaking, and are quickly followed by numerous large aftershocks.

Subduction zones similar to the Cascadia Subduction Zone have produced earthquakes with magnitudes of 8.0 or larger. Historic subduction zone earthquakes include the 1960 Chile earthquake (magnitude 9.5), the 1964 southern Alaska (magnitude 9.2) earthquakes, the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake (magnitude 9.0) and the 2011 Tohoku earthquake. Geologic evidence shows that the Cascadia Subduction Zone has generated great earthquakes, most recently about 300 years ago.

Geologic evidence shows that the Cascadia Subduction Zone has also generated great earthquakes, and that the most recent one was about 300 years ago. Large earthquakes also occur at the southern end of the Cascadia Subduction Zone (in northern California near the Utah border) where it meets the San Andreas Fault system.

While all three types of earthquakes have the potential to cause major damage, subduction zone earthquakes pose the greatest danger. A major CSZ event could generate an earthquake with a magnitude of 9.0 or greater resulting in devastating damage and loss of life. Such earthquakes may cause great damage to the coastal area of Utah as well as inland areas in western Utah including Sevier County. It is estimated that shaking from a large subduction zone earthquake could last up to five minutes. The specific hazards associated with an earthquake are explained below:

Ground Shaking
Ground shaking is the motion felt on the earth’s surface caused by seismic waves generated by the earthquake. Ground shaking is the primary cause of earthquake damage. The strength of ground shaking depends on the magnitude of the earthquake, the type of fault that is slipping, and distance from the epicenter (where the earthquake originates). Buildings on poorly consolidated and thick soils will typically see more damage than buildings on consolidated soils and bedrock.

Ground Shaking Amplification
Ground shaking amplification refers to the soils and soft sedimentary rocks near the surface that can modify ground shaking from an earthquake. Such factors can increase or decrease the amplification (i.e., strength) as well as the frequency of the shaking. The thickness of the geologic materials and their physical properties determine how much amplification will occur. Ground motion amplification increases the risk for buildings and structures built on soft and unconsolidated soils.

Surface Faulting
Surface faulting are planes or surfaces in Earth materials along which failure occurs. Such faults can be found deep within the earth or on the surface. Earthquakes occurring from deep lying faults usually create only ground shaking.

Liquefaction and Subsidence
Liquefaction occurs when ground shaking causes wet, granular soils to change from a solid state into a liquid state. This results in the loss of soil strength and the soil’s ability to support weight. When the ground can no longer support buildings and structures (subsidence), buildings and their occupants are at risk.

Earthquake-Induced Landslides and Rockfalls
Earthquake-induced landslides are secondary hazards that occur from ground shaking and can destroy roads, buildings, utilities and critical facilities necessary to recovery efforts after an earthquake. Some Jackson County communities are built in areas with steep slopes. These areas often have a higher risk of landslides and rockfalls triggered by earthquakes.


What to do in the event of a Wildfire

  • Evacuate immediately if asked to do so, and cooperate with public safety personnel.
  • Move down slope if fire is burning in a hilly or mountainous area.
  • Cover nose and mouth with clothing or other piece of cloth to protect from smoke and ash.
  • What to do in the event of a House Fire

If indoors, get out and stay out; follow your family escape plan.

  • Get as low to the ground as possible and crawl to the nearest exit.
  • Always check doors before opening. If the door, door knob, or crack is hot, do not open it – find another way out. If the door is cool, pass through quickly and close the door behind you.
  • If unable to get out, hang a white t-shirt, towel or sheet out of the window to let
  • firefighters know someone is trapped inside.
  • Once out of the building go to your pre-designated meeting spot from your family plan.

Thunderstorms and Lightning

Thunderstorms can bring heavy rains, flash flooding, tornadoes, strong winds, lightning, and hail.

  • Flash Floods/Floods are the number one killer associated with thunderstorms with nearly 140 fatalities a year.
  • Although thunderstorms in the northwest are less likely to spawn tornadoes than elsewhere in the United States, most wind-related damage caused by thunderstorms is from “straight-line” rather than tornadic winds. “Downbursts,” a type of straight-line wind, can cause damage equivalent to a strong tornado.
  • Lightning occurs with all thunderstorms. Its electrical charge and intense heat can electrocute on contact, cause electrical failures, split trees, and ignite structure and brush fires.
  • Hail associated with thunderstorms can be smaller than peas or as large as softballs and can be very destructive.
  • While some thunderstorms can be seen approaching, others hit without warning. It is important to learn to recognize the danger signs and to plan ahead.
  • When thunderstorms are forecast or skies darken, look and listen for
    • Dark, towering, or threatening clouds
    • Increasing wind
    • Flashes of lightning
    • The sound of thunder

When a thunderstorm is approaching…

At Home:

  • Secure outdoor objects such as lawn furniture that can blow away and cause damage or injury.
  • Bring lightweight objects inside.
  • Listen to a battery-operated radio or television for the latest storm information.
  • Do not handle any electrical equipment or telephones because lightning could follow the wires.
  • Avoid bathtubs, water faucets, and sinks because metal pipes can transmit electricity.
  • Pets are particularly sensitive to thunder and hail and should be brought inside.

If Outdoors:

  • Attempt to get into a building or car.
  • If no structure is available, get to an open space and squat low to the ground as quickly as possible. (If in the woods, find an area protected by a low clump of trees. Never stand underneath a single large tree in the open.)
  • Be aware of the potential for flooding in low-lying areas or drainage.
  • Kneel or crouch with hands on knees.
  • Avoid tall objects such as towers, tall trees, fences, telephone lines, and power lines.
  • Stay away from natural lightning rods such as golf clubs, tractors, fishing rods, bicycles, and camping equipment.
  • Stay away from rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water.

Lightning is a major threat during a thunderstorm. In the United States, between 75 and 100 people are hit and killed by lightning each year.

Myth: Lightning never strikes the same place twice.
Fact: Lightning can strike the same place twice and may strike it multiple times during the same discharge.

Myth: If it is not raining, then there is no danger from lightning.
Fact: Lightning has been detected as far as ten miles from the edge of a thunderstorm cell, and at locations with blue skies overhead.

First aid recommendations for lightning victims:
Many lightning victims can actually survive an encounter with lightning, especially with timely medical treatment. A person who has been struck by lightning does not carry an electrical charge that can shock others.

If a person is struck by lightning:

  • Call 9-1-1 and provide location and information about the incident including the number of people injured.
  • Look for burns where the lightning entered and exited the body.
  • If the strike caused the victim’s heart and breathing to stop, give cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) until medical personnel arrive and take over.

If your house is struck by lightning:

  • Check all around the interior and exterior to make sure that it did not start a fire.
  • If you smell or see smoke, call 9-1-1.
  • All appliances and electrical devices that were plugged in when the lightning struck the house should be checked for damage before being used. Indications of possible damage include scorched outlets, scorch marks on the device, melted cords, and broken light bulbs.