Airport Centre-stage for Mass Quake Drill

25 September 2012

At 9.26am tomorrow (Wednesday 26 September) many thousands of people in the Wellington region will dive under desks or take other safety action as part of the country's first nationwide earthquake drill - New Zealand ShakeOut.

As of yesterday afternoon some 163,500 people (33.8% percent of the Wellington region's population) had signed up for New Zealand ShakeOut and will be expecting to take part.

The Wellington region is leading the country in terms of per-capita participation - however Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says locals should not be complacent. Auckland is running a close second with 28.3% percent of its population ready to take part.

"I encourage everyone who has registered to check with their friends, family, colleagues and neighbours that they're signed up too. There's still time to register, and still time to plan ahead for an emergency."

Mayor Wade-Brown will be among many people gathering at the main terminal of Wellington Airport for a mass 'drop, cover and hold' at 9.26am - and she's encouraging everyone to do their bit - wherever they may be when the time comes.

She will join Kapiti Coast District Mayor Jenny Rowan and Bruce Pepperell, the head of the Wellington Region Emergency Management Office, along with scores of airport and airline staff - and passengers - for the drill.

Mayor Rowan - who chairs the Wellington Region Civil Defence Group - says she knows all of her political colleagues will 'drop, cover and hold' and she hopes as many other people - young and old - in the community will also join in.

Mayor Wade-Brown adds that ShakeOut also aims to raise general awareness among New Zealander's about the need to be prepared for an emergency.

To take part in New Zealand ShakeOut, register on the website and get your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours to sign up as well. 

ShakeOut website

Bruce Pepperell says radio advertisements and other forms of communications will be used to get the ShakeOut message out. "And at 9.26am tomorrow, we want all people of the region to be part of New Zealand Shakeout, to practise what you would do in a real earthquake."

Drop to the ground

Cover by getting under a sturdy desk or table

Hold on to it until the shaking stops.

  • If you are indoors, stay there until the shaking stops and you are sure it is safe to go outside.
  • 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, 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.
  • If you are within a tsunami zone on the coast, then you should move inland or to high ground as soon as possible.