How We Created a Vision:
People and

Process for Creating the Vision

Members of the Disaster Resilience Action Team were selected by Governor Gary Herbert and Envision Utah to represent a spectrum of professional experience and political affiliations. Team members included emergency managers, infrastructure specialists, and other experts from across the state. From 2013 to 2015, the action team met to identify Utahns’ choices related to disaster resilience, create scenarios for public input, and synthesize a vision for the future. The process of creating this vision also included the following components:

A 2014 values study

A 2014 values study. This study was conducted by Heart+Mind Strategies to identify (1) what factors Utahns view as affecting their quality of life the most and (2) the underlying emotions and values tied to those factors. The study concluded that Utahns value disaster resilience because they want to feel safe. They also want to be confident in the future, knowing they can recover and return to their normal lives quickly after a disaster.

The "Build Your 2050 Utah" web app

BuildYour2050.PNGThis app allowed Utahns to identify what disaster strategies are most important to them and interactively test the effects of certain decisions concerning disaster resilience. More than 3,000 people across Utah gave input through the app. The information gathered indicates that Utahns were interested in the following:

  1. Improving Utah’s resilience to disaster by retrofitting a substantial number of the state’s unreinforced brick homes and buildings and much of the infrastructure.
  2. Not building new development in high-hazard areas like faults, liquefaction zones, landslide/rock-fall areas, floodplains, and potential wildfire areas.
  3. Designing new homes and buildings to be habitable after an earthquake.

The Utah Department of Emergency Management’s Hazus software

This software was used to model the effects (including displacement, injuries, and deaths) of a 7.0 earthquake along the Salt Lake City segment of the Wasatch Fault in 2050.

The action team used this information to create four different scenarios for the future of disaster resilience in Utah. The four scenarios each represented varying levels of disaster resilience. In spring 2015, these scenarios were presented to the public in the Your Utah, Your Future survey, and 52,845 Utahns weighed in.

After receiving public input on the four scenarios, the action team met to frame a vision, including goals and strategies, to achieve what Utahns said they wanted for disaster resilience in 2050.


Disaster Resilience Action Team


Lisa Grow Sun

J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University

Kris Hamlet

Utah Division of Emergency Management



  • Ann Allen
    Intermountain Healthcare
  • Brad Bartholomew
    Utah Division of Emergency Management
  • Scott Brown
    Questar Gas
  • Lonnie Bullard
    Jacobsen Construction
  • Jason Davis
    Utah Department of Transportation
  • Bob Grow
    Ogden Regional Medical Center
  • Debbie Kim
    Intermountain Center for Disaster Preparedness
  • Jeff King
    Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District
  • Robert McIntyre
    Walgreens District Manager
  • Joaquin Mixco
    Utah Department of Transportation
  • Chris Parker
    Utah Division of Public Utilities
  • Marty Shaub
    University of Utah, Emergency Management and Environmental Health and Safety
  • Amy Shingleton
    Rocky Mountain Power
  • Keith Squires
    Utah Division of Emergency Management
  • Richard Walje
    Rocky Mountain Power
  • Judy Watanabe
    Utah Division of Emergency Management