Utah is known as a place void of most all the natural disasters that seem to plague other parts of the US. You never hear of earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding, tornadoes, fires or severe storms happening in Utah, yet those have caused so many outages in other parts of the country.
Of all the potential natural disasters, only earthquakes seem to pose any real upcoming threat to data center colocation. Utah has beautiful mountains which soar into the sky, creating a heaven for skiers and hikers alike. These mountains were obviously formed by earthquakes, and while a big earthquake hasn't happened in quite some time, the potential exists.
Just recently, Utah school students participated in a statewide earthquake drill as part of an initiative to help people and organizations practice how to protect themselves in the event of a major earthquake.
"A 7.0 magnitude earthquake in the Salt Lake segment of the Wasatch fault is considered the worst natural disaster that could happen in the region" said Joe Dougherty, spokesman for the Utah Division of Emergency Management.
Fortunately, the geography is such that when an earthquake occurs in Utah, the plates move away from each other. Whereas in India the plates move towards each other forming the Himalaya Mountains, and with the San Andreas Fault which causes so many earthquakes in California, the plates move sliding against each other.
However, the odds of a 7.0 earthquake happening in Utah are quite low, with the largest earthquake happening in the last 40 years being a 5.6 magnitude.
With the geology of the region being one where the earthquake isn't the type of one that would cause a lot of destruction, and because of the disaster free nature of the region in general, Utah is still a great place for data center colocation.
The Great Utah ShakeOut: Readying Utahns for a 7.0 quake
Recent Earthquakes in the Intermountain West
Ground-shaking Map for a 7.0 Earthquake on the Wasatch Fault
Biggest Earthquakes Near Utah