Shakeout Drill

21 August 2012

At 9.26am on Wednesday 26 September, New Zealand will hold its first nationwide earthquake drill, called Shakeout. More than 70,000 Wellingtonians have so far registered to practise 'drop, cover, hold' - and you can join them.

Children from St Mark's Preschool practise 'drop, cover, hold'

Children from St Mark's Preschool practise 'drop, cover, hold'

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says everyone should take part in Shakeout.

"We know there is a risk that Wellington will experience a significant earthquake, and being part of this drill will ensure we all know what to do if that occurs."

To take part in Shakeout, register online - and get your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours to sign up as well. To register, visit:

NZ Shake Out - Get Ready Get Thru website

Once you are registered online, you can share what you're doing with others on the website.

You can also download the official civil defence siren so you can play it back on your computer during the exercise.

The Ministry of Civil Defence estimates that one million New Zealanders will join the drill on 26 September, and in Wellington, the target is to get at least 110,000 people taking part. So far, 131 Wellington schools and 42,000 pupils have signed up.

Civil Defence's advice is that 'drop, cover, hold' is the best response in an earthquake. Research from the Canterbury earthquakes, the United States and Japan confirms that these actions will help to minimise your risk of injury.

So wherever you are on the day, remember that an earthquake could occur at any time and you could be anywhere when it hits. Think about how you would respond - whether you're at home, at work or it's the middle of the night, and how your family can prepare for such an emergency.

At home and at work:

  • secure heavy furniture to walls using brackets
  • place heavy objects near the ground so they can't fall on people
  • check that you have emergency supplies - including food, water, a torch and a first aid kit.

See the following website for more information about how to:

  • prepare for an emergency
  • make a household emergency plan, which includes having a plan for how you'll contact your family in an earthquake.

Get Ready Get Thru website

Earthquake Briefings

From next week, the City Council and GNS Science will host briefings for Wellington residents. These will update you on the latest earthquake research, what our city is doing to be prepared, and what you can do to make sure you and your family are ready.

If you'd like to register to attend one of these sessions, phone (04) 499 4444 or see:

Improving Earthquake Resilience - Briefings

New Zealand Shakeout

At 9.26am on 26 September, we want all Wellingtonians to be part of New Zealand Shakeout. Practise what you would do in a real earthquake:

  • Drop to the ground
  • Cover yourself by getting under a sturdy desk or table.
  • Hold on to it until the shaking stops.

If You are Indoors

If you are indoors, stay there until the shaking stops and you are sure it is safe to go outside.

If you are Outdoors

If you are outdoors, find a clear spot away from buildings, trees, streetlights and power lines, then drop, cover and hold. Stay there until the shaking stops.

If you are Driving

If you are driving, pull over to a clear location, stop and stay there with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking stops. Drive carefully and avoid bridges or ramps that might have been damaged.