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Schools & Preschools

Participating in New Zealand ShakeOut is a great way for your school (or preschool) to learn the right actions to take before, during and after an earthquake.

It’s easy as 1, 2, 3!

  1. Sign up your whole school to be counted - it only takes two minutes.
  2. Spread the word (share with parents, other schools, and the community via word of mouth, newsletters, posters, 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 at your school, kura, preschool, kohanga, etc, 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:
Individuals, families and households
Businesses and workplaces
Other groups and organisations
Who else is participating?

ShakeOut spotlight

“We did the earthquake drill according to our plan and headed up Tio Tio road which is our 'high ground' for a tsunami. We had a lot of discussion with the students about what would happen if all the staff were injured and the seniors would have to take over and make decisions. When we got back to school, we decided to do an impromptu drill during morning tea time to see if the students would know what to do if outside. Thankfully, they all dropped and covered their heads which was great to see.” – Sarah McIntosh

Share your ShakeOut

Get Prepared

Once you’ve signed up:

  • Note and promote the time and date of the drill (9:15am, 15 October 2015)
  • Learn about the earthquake (and tsunami) risk in your area and other parts of New Zealand
  • Download the Get Ready to ShakeOut for Schools fact sheet
  • Review or develop an Emergency Management Plan for your school or preschool
  • Identify safe places to Drop, Cover and Hold within your school/preschool:
    • 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).
  • Check out the What’s The Plan Stan website for information to help your school with emergency planning. (Your school should also have a handbook and CD-Rom which includes these resources, sent to all primary and intermediate schools in 2009). Information is also available in Te Reo Māori.
  • Download and use or adapt simulation and practise activities so students, the school and parents are ready and know what to do in case of a disaster. As well as earthquake simulation and practise activities, there are templates and scenarios for various levels (from single class through to whole school activities).
  • Use the What’s The Plan Stan Earthquake story to involve children in learning more about earthquakes. The children can read the story or listen to an audio version in either English or Te Reo.
  • Download unit plans and templates, including activity sheets and homework ideas for earthquakes. The homework ideas may prompt parents/caregivers and families to plan and prepare for disasters at home.
  • Talk to other schools about what they have done, and encourage them to join you in getting more prepared.
  • Practise the Drop, Cover and Hold drill with your staff and students.
  • Consider inviting parents and your community to take part in the New Zealand ShakeOut drill at your school/preschool at 9:15, 15 October 2015.

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 staff, students and school/preschool.

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 school's emergency plan.

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


ShakeOut Flyer For Schools

ShakeOut Poster

Ministry of Education Emergency Management Plan

Teaching children about earthquakes

Stan's Land - online earthquake games

Get Thru

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!