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Source: Auckland Council

New Zealand ShakeOut, our national earthquake drill and tsunami hīkoi, is taking place at 9.30am on Thursday 15 October 2020.

ShakeOut is held annually across Aotearoa to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake.

It encourages participants to practice the ‘drop, cover, hold’ drill and tsunami hīkoi (a walk that takes you along your tsunami evacuation route either inland or towards high ground) for those that live near the coast.

Auckland Emergency Management General Manager Kate Crawford says emergencies can happen anywhere, anytime and without warning.

“We can’t predict when they will happen, but we can protect ourselves and those we care about,” Kate said.  

“ShakeOut is an ideal opportunity for everyone to think about their preparedness and have a conversation with family and friends about what to do in an emergency and how to stay informed.”

All of New Zealand is at risk of earthquakes and all of our coastlines are at risk of a tsunami. Knowing the right immediate action to take can prevent injury and save lives.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) is encouraging all households, schools, and organisations to officially sign up for ShakeOut on the website.

So far 10 per cent of Auckland’s population have already registered to take part in the drill – including nearly 120,000 pre-school, primary and secondary students.

A total of 567,379 participants have registered nationwide.

“All of New Zealand is at risk of earthquakes and all of our coastlines are at risk of a tsunami. Knowing the right immediate action to take can prevent injury and save lives,” Chair of the Civil Defence and Emergency Management Committee, Councillor Sharon Stewart said.

The ShakeOut drill is also a great time to check your household emergency supplies or work out what supplies you need, update and review your household emergency plan, and quake-safe your home.

If you have not done so yet you can still register yourself and your workplace/organisation at

Emergency Mobile Alert (EMA)

Emergency Mobile Alert is a way of receiving information about emergencies in your area.

Emergency Mobile Alert is broadcasted to all capable phones and doesn’t require you to download an app or subscribe to a service.

To check if your phone is capable to receive these alerts visit the Get Ready website.

In the event of an emergency, Auckland Emergency Management will also communicate to the public about what to do and where to go. This will typically be done via social media, news media and radio station broadcasting.

Drop, Cover, Hold

In an earthquake, Drop, Cover, Hold. It stops you being knocked over, makes you a smaller target for falling and flying objects, and protects your head, neck and vital organs.

  • DROP down on your hands and knees. This protects you from falling but lets you move if you need to.
  • COVER your head and neck (or your entire body if possible) under a sturdy table or desk (if it is within a few steps of you).

If there is no shelter nearby and cover your head and neck with your arms and hands.

  • HOLD on to your shelter (or your position to protect your head and neck) until the shaking stops. If the shaking shifts your shelter around, move with it.

If there is no shelter near you, crawl to an inside corner of the room and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms.

Do not run outside or stand in a doorway. Many people are injured while trying to move during the shaking.

It is safer to Drop, Cover, and Hold until the shaking is over.