Comings and Goings, Minis

Disaster can be fun

By Caitlin Hoffman

Imagine visiting a science center and museum with an interactive Universal Studios-styled destroyed city street showing what a neighborhood might look like following a 7.0 earthquake in Utah; a water purification and safety gallery; exhibits, immersive disaster rooms, and dioramas; role-playing activities and mock field trip scenarios for school children;  and ongoing classes on CPR, first aid, alternative cooking, food storage and more.

That’s the vision of the Disaster Discovery Center Project, which has a longterm goal of establishing a place where Utahns can share ideas and to discuss relevant issues concerning safety.

In the meantime, they are teaching innovative public disaster planning workshops they call Rebound in 72 (a reference to the minimum 72-hour survival kit typically recommended). These workshops are endorsed by Utah Valley’s Institute of Emergency Services and Homeland Security—helping the public plan for disasters from the time of impact to long-term resiliency.

“Everyone in the state should make disaster planning a lifestyle one step at a time, with the knowledge that there are many free and low-cost ways to start,” says Darlene Turner, executive director. “ Experts tell us that it may take some time for outside assistance to arrive in the event of a disaster and in some cases, help may not arrive for days or even weeks. This program encourages Utahns to plan and prepare as much as possible and get educated about the kinds of disasters our state is susceptible to, including earthquakes (you know we live on a major fault line, right?), wind storms, fires, flooding, inclement weather and even human-caused incidents.”

—Caitlin Hoffman-Haws

Monthly 90-minute workshops: 7pm, third Thursdays. No charge. Sandy City Fire Station (9010 S. 150 E.). Sign up at

This article was originally published on December 5, 2016.