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Businesses and Workplaces

Participating in New Zealand ShakeOut is a great way for employers and the people who work for them to learn the right actions to take before, during and after an earthquake.

It’s easy as 1, 2, 3!

  1. Sign up now! It only takes two minutes.
  2. Spread the word (share with friends, family and workmates via word of mouth, Facebook, Twitter and email).
  3. Do the Drop, Cover and Hold drill at 9:15am, 15 October 2015*.

Check out the information below for basic instructions on how your business can get prepared, do the drill and find out more.

* If you cannot do the drill at 9:15am, 15 October 2015, you can choose a time to suit you within two weeks of the drill (and still be counted).

Other ways to participate:
Schools and pre-schools
Individuals, families and households
Other groups and organisations
Who else is participating?


Get Ready Get Thru for Businesses - Simple steps that you can take to help your business 'get thru'.

ShakeOut tips for businesses

Share your ShakeOut story


Once you've signed up:

  • Note the time and date in your diary (9:15am, 15 October 2015)
  • Learn about the earthquake (and tsunami) risk in your area and other parts of New Zealand
  • Learn about the earthquake (and tsunami) risk in your area and other parts of New Zealand.
  • Download the Get Ready to ShakeOut at Work fact sheet (PDF).
  • Consider what may happen when an earthquake shakes your area. Plan what your business will do now to prepare, so that when it happens you will be able to recover quickly.
    • Do you know how to contact your staff, suppliers and key customers if your IT system is down and you cannot get into your office?
    • Do you have alternative contact information for when landline or mobile networks are down?
    • Does anyone else in your organisation know where to find this information if you are not there?
    • Do your staff and their families have a plan for communicating in a crisis?
  • Talk to other businesses about what they have done, and encourage them to join you in getting more prepared.
  • Display posters and flyers about New Zealand ShakeOut in customer areas and on noticeboards and intranets.
  • Include information about New Zealand ShakeOut in your communication to staff and stakeholders.
  • Include a link to on your website – we have banner ads you can include too, email
  • Give your staff information on how they can be more prepared – at work and at home – hold preparedness morning teas, Friday drinks or staff meetings and provide information on your intranet and noticeboards.


9:15am, 15 October 2015:

Signal the start of the drill: there are lots of ways to start the drill, like listen to the radio, blow a whistle, shout ‘earthquake!’ or watch official videos (more information to come later), use an intercom, intranet or wardens (don't use your fire alarm).

Do the Drop, Cover, and Hold drill for 30-45 seconds:

  • DROP down on your hands and knees. 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 it is no more than a few steps away from you). 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.
  • If you will be in an elevator, outside, or in other situations during your drill or in an actual earthquake, you can adjust these steps.
  • Instructions are also available for people with disabilities or special requirements.

While you are doing the drill, imagine that it is real and what might be happening around you. Think about what you might need to do before a real earthquake happens to help protect yourself and your staff (and customers).

Practise what you will do after the shaking stops. If you live in a coastal area, you could practise your tsunami evacuation plan.

After your drill is complete, have discussions about what you learned and, if necessary, make changes to your business' emergency management plan.

Share your ShakeOut photos, videos, and stories on the Share the ShakeOut page.


ShakeOut Flyer For Businesses and Workplaces

ShakeOut Poster

'Get Ready Get Thru' for small businesses
To find out how to build your organisation's resilience, and to get your business ready to get thru, download this free resource.

New Zealand Building Code

Fix, fasten, don’t forget

Local Civil Defence ShakeOut activities

More resources are being developed and will be released during the campaign. Check back here soon for updates.

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!