- Retrofit unreinforced masonry homes and buildings to protect life and prevent injuries in an earthquake.
- Construct new buildings with greater earthquake resilience so more families can stay in their homes and fewer companies are forced out of their places of business after an earthquake.
- Harden existing and future infrastructure to prevent long-term disruptions.
- House vulnerable populations (schools, hospitals, nursing homes, etc.) away from disaster-prone areas; retrofit and design these buildings for resiliency.
- Improve stormwater systems, homes, and communities to handle larger storms.
- Locate new development away from fault lines, floodplains, liquefaction areas, and fire-prone areas.
- Minimize the number of houses and structures that are at risk for wildfire damage, and improve the fire resistance of those that are.
- hConstantly improve disaster response and recovery systems.
This vision, created by Utahns, for Utahns, establishes a clear context, framework, and direction for policy discussions and actions to achieve the future Utahns want. Although government will play an important role, Utahns recognize that achieving the vision will also require a concerted, cooperative effort by individuals, families, businesses, and other organizations in the private sector.
1. Retrofit existing buildings and infrastructure for disaster resilience.
- Retrofit existing unreinforced masonry buildings in order to protect lives and prevent injuries in the case of an earthquake.
- Retrofit buildings that house vulnerable populations (schools, nursing homes, hospitals, etc.) to be more resilient to earthquakes and other disasters.
- Update existing road, water, sewer, power, and gas lines so that they can better withstand an earthquake; allow cost recovery for such upgrades through utility rate structures.
- Retrofit existing stormwater systems, yards, and open spaces to accommodate rainfall and runoff from the larger storms that are projected to occur in the future.
- Retrofit existing buildings in wildfire-prone areas to be more resilient to fire (e.g., add metal roofs, noncombustible siding, etc.).
- Consider using financial incentives (grants, loans, partnerships, tax deductions, etc.) or regulation to make existing homes and businesses more resilient to earthquakes or to rebuild these structures to higher resiliency standards.
2. Improve the design and construction of new homes, businesses, infrastructure, and communities so they are more resilient to disasters.
- Locate new development away from fault lines, floodplains, liquefaction areas, and areas at high risk for wildfires to the extent feasible.
- Locate structures that house vulnerable populations (schools, hospitals, nursing homes, etc.) away from disaster-prone areas; design these buildings to be particularly resilient.
- Improve the structural resilience of new buildings so they are more likely to be habitable after a major earthquake.
- Explore and encourage redundant and resilient features, such as energy and water independence, in homes and businesses.
- Ensure new road, water, sewer, power, and gas lines are built to be resilient to earthquakes.
- Build stormwater systems that will accommodate rainfall and runoff from the larger storms that are projected to occur in the future.
- Implement innovative urban design (e.g., swales in yards, open spaces, and park strips and stormwater retention on residential lots) to reduce flooding during larger storms.
- Improve Utah’s watersheds to reduce flooding.
- Limit homes and buildings in fire-prone areas, and build communities to slow the expansion of Utah’s urban/wildland interfaces and intermix areas.
- Use fire-resistant materials when constructing homes in wild areas, and remove wildfire fuels (e.g., brush and dense trees) from the areas surrounding the homes.
3. Constantly improve disaster response and recovery systems so that Utahns are better able to handle the initial impact of disasters and help communities recover quickly.
- Continually update and improve plans that organize how disasters will be managed (evacuation efforts, triage set-ups, transporting people to the hospital, etc.).
- Increase the capacity of emergency medical systems to handle a worst-case disaster scenario.
- Build redundant water, power, gas, and sewer infrastructure at critical facilities like hospitals so that they can function even if a disaster disrupts utilities.
- Create a plan to effectively mobilize critical staff (EMTs, doctors, nurses, etc.); establish procedures to help take care of their families in an emergency.
- Coordinate multiagency recovery efforts, timelines, personnel, and equipment so that all critical infrastructure is fixed quickly.
4. Educate citizens, businesses, and governments, and create programs and resources to improve disaster resilience.