Take action to ShakeOut, Aotearoa

Credit: Civil Defence/NZGetThru

It's less than 24 hours until the country's ShakeOut earthquake drill and tsunami hīkoi.

Over 800,000 Kiwis are signed up, including civil defence groups, schools and organisations from 9:30am tomorrow.

As part of the event, people will learn how to take action during an earthquake or tsunami.

Participants will practice the Drop, Cover Hold drill followed by a tsunami hīkoi for those in coastal areas.

“All of New Zealand is at risk of earthquakes and all of our coastline is at risk of tsunami. We can’t predict when one will happen, or where we will be, but we can protect ourselves and our families by practising what to do,” says Director of Civil Defence Emergency Management Sarah Stuart-Black.

As part of this year’s exercise, schools were invited by the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management and EQC to take part in the New Zealand ShakeOut Schools Challenge.

The challenge encourages students to work on a series of steps with their families, to make sure more New Zealanders are prepared for emergencies.

“Since 2016, we’ve experienced one massive earthquake and two local source tsunami, and we’ve also learned even more about seismic risks such as the Alpine Fault, the Hikurangi Fault, and the Kermadec Trench," says Stuart-Black.

“The ShakeOut drill will help make the Drop, Cover Hold actions second nature, while giving us a chance to practise our tsunami evacuation routes.”

While ShakeOut will be held during the school and work day, Stuart-Black encourages families to try the drill at a time that suits them.

There's still time to register at www.shakeout.govt.nz.

To find out more about tsunami safety and local evacuation maps, check out the Civil Defence website.