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The City Journals

Upcoming Shake-Out event

Apr 03, 2018 03:52PM ● By Cassie Goff

Firefighters and other volunteers help fill sandbags for emergency preparedness during last year’s Shake-Out event. (Dan Metcalf/Cottonwood Heights)

By Cassie Goff | [email protected]


The annual Shake-Out event for Cottonwood Heights will take place on Saturday, April 14 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The event provides proactive education to volunteers and residents for emergency preparedness.

All residents are encouraged to participate. Every home within the city should be equipped with a triage ribbon package. The package comes with four ribbons of different colors: green for “everything is okay,” yellow for “medical problems,” red for “someone is not breathing or is bleeding severely,” and black for “fatality.” The emergency preparedness team asks all residents to tie a ribbon in a visible area, such as a mailbox or railing, before 9 a.m. After the event, take the ribbon back inside for safekeeping.

If you do not have a ribbon package, contact the city and get one. Many local scout troops volunteer to put these ribbon packages together, so make sure their volunteer hours are put to good use.

“Take personal responsibility for preparing — we want to get that message across,” said Emergency Manager Mike Halligan.

During the Shake-Out event, block captains will have two hours to survey the ribbons in their area. That begins a communication process as the block captains report their inventory. After that information is collected, it will be transmitted from the Cottonwood Heights Amateur Radio Club to the Emergency Operations Center.

“This will help us proactively understand how fast we can take information in. Residents and block captains may seem to have a small role, but it’s a critically important one,” Halligan said.

Additionally, the city’s emergency preparedness team hopes to measure resident participation this way. “We won’t call out individuals, but we hope to get a significant participation rate,” Halligan said.

Residents can also visit the emergency shelter, which will be staged at Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center (7500 S. 2700 E.) by Utah’s Red Cross. “The Red Cross has new volunteers signed up for shelters, so this will be a training exercise for their people as well,” Halligan said.

Residents are encouraged to visit the shelter and “check in” to learn more about emergency preparedness. The Red Cross volunteers will register residents as they come through to practice their registration process.

“We need people to take a few minutes to register at the shelter,” Halligan said. “We will have the fire department out front to draw people in from the activities on the soccer field.”

There will be many community emergency response teams (CERT) stationed in front of the rec center as well. The various stations will provide information on emergency preparedness topics such as first aide, operating a fire extinguisher, securing areas in collapsed structures and more.

“Come see what CERT training is all about,” Halligan said. “Hopefully residents will want to take a CERT class.”

The emergency operations center will be housed out of Cottonwood Heights City Hall during the event. Residents can find the Cottonwood Heights Amateur Radio Club hard at work there, practicing communication in case of a real disaster. These 38 volunteers practice communication during field days and Butlerville Days as well.

Many other activities and learning opportunities will be available at City Hall. One of the frequent questions the emergency preparedness team receives is “How do I take care of my kids/pets/elderly?”

“We will have information on how to prepare those populations to be ready in a disaster,” Halligan said. “Personal and family preparedness are of focus. Every home in Cottonwood Heights, renter or owner, single family or apartment, should have all the information they need to better prepare and take care of themselves.”

Over the past few months, Halligan has been hard at work preparing for this event, working with block captains and council members to ensure their responsibilities are known.

“The support from the city’s administration and elected officials has been tremendous. They provide resources and opportunity for residents to learn how to be prepared,” Halligan said.

“We hope that residents will stop by to ask questions about how to be better prepared,” Halligan said.

For more info on the CH Amateur Radio Club, visit

For more information on emergency preparedness in the city, visit the Emergency Preparedness Coordination page on the city’s website.

Or contact Assistant Emergency Manager Mike Halligan at [email protected] 801-944-7098 or Assistant City Manager Bryce Haderlie at [email protected].


To get a triage ribbon package. contact Mike Halligan at [email protected]