If you are in a tsunami evacuation zone, you should practise your evacuation route, or ‘tsunami hīkoi’. A tsunami hīkoi is a walk that takes you along your tsunami evacuation route either inland or towards high ground.

What is a tsunami hīkoi?

A tsunami hīkoi is a walk that takes you along your tsunami evacuation route either inland or towards high ground. Practicing your tsunami evacuation route helps your muscle memory kick in when an event happens, even in a very stressful situation.

All of New Zealand is at risk of earthquakes and tsunami. Practising your tsunami hīkoi is an easy way for you and those around you to learn the right actions to take. Practise your evacuation walk to high ground or inland by foot or bike.

If you are in a tsunami evacuation zone, practise evacuating out of the zone. 

Long or Strong, Get Gone

Remember, Long or Strong, Get Gone.

Drop, Cover and Hold during the shaking. Protect yourself from the earthquake first.

As soon as the shaking stops, move immediately to the nearest high ground or as far inland as you can out of tsunami evacuation zones.

Download Long or Strong, Get Gone Posters
Family and a man on a bike evacuating up a hill from a tsunami

Tsunami hīkoi week

All of New Zealand’s coastline is at risk of tsunami. East Coast LAB's tsunami hīkoi week in March encourages people to learn and practice their tsunami evacuation route. 

New Zealand ShakeOut in October is also a great opportunity for you to practice your tsunami hīkoi.

External link
East Coast LAB Life at the Boundary logo

Visit the East Coast LAB website to find out about Tsunami Hīkoi Week.

How to practise your tsunami hīkoi

Check to see if your home, work, school or community meeting place is in a tsunami evacuation zone. Plan a route that takes you safely out of the zone. Plan to walk or bike if you can. Your Civil Defence Emergency Management Group has tsunami evacuation zone maps and advice.

Decide where you will go (and make sure everyone in your family knows, in case you’re not all together). Your evacuation place will probably be with friends or family, so make sure they know your plans.

Practise your tsunami hīkoi with your family, colleagues or classmates. Tsunami hīkoi week and ShakeOut are great opportunities to practise. If you have a pet you could walk them along your tsunami evacuation route.

Tsunami hīkoi for schools and ECEs

(Soft piano music plays throughout the whole video.)

(A woman stands and talks to the camera.)

Woman 1: We know that we'll experience a long or strong earthquake and tsunami at some point in our future.

(A teacher walks among her primary school students as they work at their desks.)

Woman 2 (Mother): I do worry when i'm at work, he's at school and we're not together.

(A boy is lying on the floor of the classroom reading a book beside some other children.)

(The mother of the boy and the teacher stand together to talk.)

Mother: But I know the school's got a plan and they practise it.

(Students Drop, Cover and Hold under their desks.)

Mother: And I know where to go to meet them. So it makes me feel more comfortable that he's going to be fine.

(The mother and the teacher stand together to talk.)

Mother: And I know where to go to pick him up.

(Students leave the classroom and onto the school field to start their tsunami hīkoi.)

Woman 3 (Teacher): I feel less overwhelmed as a teacher knowing that we've practised it. We know where we're going. The kids know what they're doing.

(A sign on a fence has a picture of a tsunami wave with the words 'Tsunami evacuation route'.)

(The teacher talks to the camera.)

Teacher: The parents know where we're going to meet them and that we're all safe.

The boy runs towards his mother with the teacher following behind. The boy leaps up for a hug from his mother.)

(The words 'What's your plan?' appear on the screen.

Voiceover (VO): What's your plan?

(The words fade and are replaced by a cartoon of a figure running up a hill from a tsunami wave. Words are on top of the tsunami wave, 'If an earthquake is Long or Stong, Get Gone'. The Civil Defence logo is also on the tsunami wave.)

VO: If it's long or strong, get gone.

The East Coast LAB logo appears at the bottom of the screen with the words 'Hikurangi Response Planning. Life at the Boundary.' The words 'Me Takatū. Get your school ready: getready.govt.nz' also appear on the bottom of the screen.

Earthquakes and tsunami during school time: Do you know the plan?

A long or strong earthquake and tsunami could happen while your children are at school. Do you know what your early learning service or school's plan is? 

East Coast LAB encourages early learning services and schools to practice their tsunami evacuation plans regularly.

Find out more about tsunami

Find out more about how tsunami work and what to do before, during and after a tsunami. 

Know your tsunami evacuation zonesCheck with your Civil Defence Emergency Management Group. They have tsunami evacuation zone maps and advice. Make sure you know where to go, whether you are at home, at work or out and about.

Tsunami hīkoi at work

(Soft piano music plays throughout the whole video.)

(A woman stands and talks to the camera.)

Woman: We know that we'll experience a long or strong earthquake and tsunami at some point in our future.

(A man works on the computer in his office.)

(The man and woman stand in the office talking together.)

Woman: So you have quite a few people working in the office here. What is your plan in the event of a long or strong earthquake?

(Someone lifts a grab bag from under their office desk.)

 (The man and woman stand in the office talking together.)

Man: Well I'd never really thought about it before, but now that I work in a tsunami evacuation zone. Work's really good at getting us to practise our Drop, Cover, Hold.

(The man gets under his office desk to do Drop, Cover, Hold.)

And we regularly do tsunami hīkoi so that we know our evacuation route in the event of an earthquake.

(Office works walk up some stairs in a park as part of their tsunami evacuation practise.

(The words 'What's your plan?' appear on the screen.

Voiceover (VO): What's your plan?

(The words fade and are replaced by a cartoon of a figure running up a hill from a tsunami wave. Words are on top of the tsunami wave, 'If an earthquake is Long or Stong, Get Gone'. The Civil Defence logo is also on the tsunami wave.)

VO: If it's long or strong, get gone.

The East Coast LAB logo appears at the bottom of the screen with the words 'Hikurangi Response Planning. Life at the Boundary.' The words 'Me Takatū. Get your school ready: getready.govt.nz' also appear on the bottom of the screen.

Tsunami and earthquakes: Are you prepared at work?

A long or strong earthquake and tsunami could happen while you're at work. Do you know what your workplace's plan is?

East Coast LAB encourages businesses to practice their tsunami evacuation plans regularly.

External link
East Coast LAB Life at the Boundary logo

Download East Coast LAB's tsunami hīkoi information sheet. Organise a community tsunami walk.

External link
East Coast LAB Life at the Boundary logo

Download East Coast LAB's tsunami hīkoi poster. Show you're taking part and help spread the word.

External link
A family and a person on a bike evacuating up a hill from a tsunami

Download and print Long or Strong, Get Gone poster. Learn what to do before, during and after a tsunami.

Types of hazards | Ngā momo matepā

In New Zealand we have a lot of natural hazards. Find out what to do before, during and after each type of emergency.