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Individuals, Families and Households

Participating in New Zealand ShakeOut is a great way for you and your family (or flatmates) 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 you 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
Businesses and workplaces
Other groups and organisations
Who else is participating?


“Great drill. Did it with my 4 year old daughter at home, was funny for her. Proud to be part of it. Thanks NZ!” - Maria Albertengo-Shaw on New Zealand ShakeOut 2012.

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
  • Create a household emergency plan
  • Assemble or update your emergency survival items in case you have to shelter at home
  • Assemble or update your getaway kit in case you have to leave in a hurry
  • Identify safe places within your home, school or workplace
  • Secure heavy items of furniture to the floor or wall. Visit to find out how to quake-safe your home

Do the Drill

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, bellow ‘earthquake!’ (be mindful of timid folk) or watch official videos (more information to come later).

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, driving, at the beach, 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 family.

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 household emergency plan.

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


ShakeOut Flyer For Individuals and Families

Household emergency plans

Teaching children about earthquakes

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!