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Knowing what to do before an earthquake happens can help avoid injury and save lives. New Zealand ShakeOut provides an opportunity to practise the Drop, Cover and Hold earthquake drill.

News media play a crucial role in informing people about New Zealand ShakeOut. “The news” is how people find out about what is going on in our communities and country. Media organisations (radio, TV, print, online), reporters, writers, etc. can be involved in three ways:

  • Having your own earthquake drill at 9.26am on 26 September (9:26-26:9),
  • Promoting New Zealand ShakeOut (Share the ShakeOut), and
  • Reporting New Zealand ShakeOut.

Other ways to participate:
Which media organisations
are participating?

Reporting the ShakeOut

Get media advisories, ShakeOut venue lists, and other information about New Zealand ShakeOut on the News and Events page.

Contact your local regional, city and district councils to find out what they and others in your area are doing.

For national information, contact us at

Observation information and evaluation form
For evaluating the drop, cover and hold drill at 9:26-26:9

Post-drill workplace discussion sheet
Have a chat with colleagues about what a real earthquake might mean for your workplace


Countdown to ShakeOut for Organisations (PDF)


  • Note the time and date in your diary (9.26am on Wednesday 26 September 2012).

Between now and 26 September:

  • Arrange a time to discuss New Zealand ShakeOut with you department heads or management team to get their buy in and plan how you will participate.

  • Register to be counted in the ShakeOut Drill, get email updates, and more.

  • Download the Countdown to ShakeOut for Organisations fact sheet (PDF).

  • Consider what may happen when an earthquake shakes your area. Plan what you will do now to prepare, so that when it happens you will be able to protect yourself and your staff, and then recover quickly.

  • If your organisation is doing other preparedness activities as well as the drill, you should consider your arrangements with your suppliers of goods and services. What services must you continue to provide and what different roles might you have in responding to your communities who have been hit by an earthquake?”.

  • Talk to other media organisations about what they have done, and encourage them to join you in getting more prepared.

  • Practise the Drop, Cover and Hold drill and review how it went.

9:26am on 26 September:

  1. Do the Drop, Cover, and Hold drill:

    • DROP down onto your hands and knees (before the earthquake knocks you down). This position protects you from falling but allows you to still move if necessary.
    • COVER your head and neck (and your entire body if possible) under a sturdy table or desk. If there is no shelter nearby, get down near an interior wall (or next to low-lying furniture that won't fall on you), 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. Be prepared to move with your shelter if the shaking shifts it around.

    Adjust these steps as needed if you will be in an elevator, outside, driving, at the beach, or other situations during your drill or in an actual earthquake. Instructions are also available for people with disabilities or special requirements.

  2. While you are doing the drill, imagine that it is real and what might be happening around you. Then, consider what your organisation might need to do before a real earthquake happens to help protect yourself and your colleagues.

  3. If your organisation is doing other preparedness activities as well as the drill, you should consider your arrangements with your suppliers of goods and services. What services must you continue to provide and what different roles might you have in responding to your communities who have been hit by an earthquake?”

  4. Practise what you will do after the shaking stops.

  5. After your drill is complete, have discussions about what was learned and apply these lessons to your emergency plan.

  6. Share your ShakeOut photos, videos, and stories using our Share the ShakeOut page.


Getting ready before an earthquake strikes will help reduce injury to you and your staff, and reduce damage to property

  • Learn about the earthquake risk in your area.

  • Encourage staff to get ready at home and work. Get them to keep essential items they may need at work, including sturdy walking shoes, waterproof jacket, torch, snack food and water.

  • Get involved in business continuity and emergency plans at industry level. Your plans should cover these areas:
    • How to protect your business assets: staff, equipment, facilities, IT systems, reputation, market share, liquidity, etc.
    • How to protect external service, particularly in support of civil defence emergency management critical activities, such as emergency services and medical facilities.
    • Forecasting and prioritising external demand for your services before an emergency occurs.
    • Cooperative planning with those you depend on so that responsibilities and roles are clearly understood

  • Identify safe places within your workplace. A safe place is:

    • Somewhere close to you, no more than a few steps or less than three metres away, to avoid injury from flying debris.
    • Under a strong table (hold on to the table legs to keep it from moving away from you).
    • Next to an interior wall, away from windows and tall furniture that can fall on you (protect your head and neck with your arms).

  • Keep in mind that in modern buildings, doorways are no stronger than any other part of the structure and usually have doors that can swing and injure you.

  • Check your insurance policy for cover and amount.

  • Seek qualified advice to make sure your building is secured to its foundation and ensure any renovations comply with the New Zealand Building Code.

  • Do a facility inspection for non-structural items (bookshelves, equipment, etc.) that might fall and be damaged or cause injury and secure them.

Information about getting prepared for an earthquake is available in nine languages at (English, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Te Reo Māori, Gagana Sāmoa, Lea Faka-Tonga, and Arabic).


ShakeOut Flyer For Media

Invite others to register for New Zealand ShakeOut. With your help this can become the largest earthquake drill in New Zealand history!

Ways you could promote New Zealand ShakeOut include:

  • have a countdown to 9:26-26:9

  • publish or broadcast stories about hazards in your area and emergency preparedness

  • consider monthly themes for regular features such as getting prepared at home, the history of emergencies and disasters, the science of earthquake, local hazards, etc.

  • make contact with your local authorities and emergency services; plan how your would alert each other to emergencies (especially after hours) and discuss how you could get emergency information during a response.

  • display posters and flyers about ShakeOut on notice boards and around your building. Put ShakeOut flyers at your public counters.

The ShakeOut website and registration system are services of SCEC, the Southern California Earthquake Center @ USC
New Zealand ShakeOut Step 1: Secure it now! Step 2: Make a plan Step 3: Make disaster kits Step 4: Is your place safe? Step 5: Drop, Cover, and Hold On Step 6: Check it out! Step 7: Communicate and recover!