New Zealand ShakeOut is our national earthquake drill and tsunami hīkoi.

Taking part is a great way for kids to learn the right actions to take before, during and after an earthquake and tsunami.

Get ready for ShakeOut

Leading up to ShakeOut, here are some things your school can do to get ready for an emergency. 

  • Identify safe places to Drop, Cover and Hold and practise with your staff and students.
  • Check to see if your school is in a tsunami evacuation zone and make plans for a tsunami hīkoi if you are in a coastal area.
  • Practise your tsunami hīkoi with your students so everyone knows where to go.
  • Check your school or early childhood centre has an emergency plan.
  • Encourage students to help make a grab bag or emergency kit at home.
  • Use our What's the Plan Stan? resource to teach kids about different disasters and the right actions to take.
  • Use our resources for primary schoolskura kaupapa and early childhood centres to help teach students about emergency preparedness and the natural hazards we have in New Zealand.
  • Read the Ministry of Education’s information and resources on preparing for and reacting to emergencies and traumatic events.

Doing the drill

ShakeOut is a self-run drill. You can start it in whatever way works for you. You could:

  • use a bell, whistle or alarm
  • play the New Zealand ShakeOut Announcement over your PA system
  • shout “EARTHQUAKE DRILL”, or
  • tune in to our Facebook livestream.

Drop, Cover and Hold for 30–60 seconds:

  • DROP down on your hands and knees. This protects you from falling but lets you move if you need to.
  • COVER your head and neck (or your entire body if possible) under a sturdy table or desk (if it is within a few steps of you). If there is no shelter nearby, 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. If the shaking shifts your shelter around, move with it.

While you are doing the drill, take note of what might be happening around you in a real earthquake. Think about what you might need to do to prepare for a real earthquake.

Video
Megaphone

Use this New Zealand ShakeOut audio announcement to start your earthquake drill. Play it through a speaker or PA so everyone knows the correct action to take.

After the drill

After your drill is complete:

  • Talk with students about what you learned.
  • Make changes to your school or early childhood centre's emergency plan.
  • Encourage students to make a Household Emergency Plan with adults at home.
  • Share your ShakeOut photos, videos and stories on social media.
Document
New Zealand ShakeOut

Say thanks to kids by giving them our New Zealand ShakeOut 2022 certificate.

Share the ShakeOut

It’s important that everyone knows what to do on drill day. You never know who’s going to be around in an emergency. 

Resources

Document
Cartoon person doing Drop, Cover and Hold
Teach students about earthquakes with this earthquake lesson plan.
Video

Turtle Safe is an educational DVD to teach preschool children what to do in an earthquake.

Video
Cartoon person doing Drop, Cover and Hold

Drop, Cover and Hold is the right action to take in an earthquake. Watch this short video to find out more about Drop Cover and Hold.

Video
Arrow above a house on a hill in a tsunami evacuation zone

If an earthquake is Long or Strong, Get Gone. Watch this short video to find about Long or Strong, Get Gone.

Factsheet
Cartoon person doing Drop, Cover and Hold

Download and share this factsheet on what to do before, during and after an earthquake.

Factsheet
Cartoon person doing Drop, Cover and Hold

Tīkina ake, tiria hoki tēnei pukameka mō ngā mahi me whakamahi ā mua, ā roto, ā muri hoki i tētahi rū whenua.

Download and share this factsheet on what to do before, during and after an earthquake.

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

Download and share this factsheet in English about what to do before, during and after a tsunami.

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

Tīkina ake, tiria hoki tēnei pukameka mō ngā mahi me whakamahi ā mua, ā roto, ā muri hoki i tētahi ngaru taitoko.

Download and share this factsheet in Te Reo Māori about what to do before, during and after a tsunami.

Internal link
Teacher talking to three students
Schools play a large role in keeping the community safe. Learn about your school's responsibilities and teach students the skills they need to be prepared.
Internal link
Stan the dog
What’s the Plan, Stan? is a resource to support schools, teachers and students to develop the knowledge and skills to prepare for emergency events.