Find basic instructions on how you can get prepared and do the drill. Taking part in New Zealand ShakeOut is easy and a great way for you and your family (or flatmates) to learn the right actions to take before, during and after an earthquake and tsunami.

Before the drill

Sign up shakeout 172x172 image Jun19

ShakeOut is held across the world to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake — Drop, Cover and Hold — and to practise a tsunami hīkoi (evacuation) if in a coastal area.

Doing the drill

There are lots of ways to start the drill, play the announcement recording over your PA system, blow a whistle, shout ‘earthquake drill!’ or watch official videos. 

Do the Drop, Cover and Hold drill 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).
  • 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, 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.

Megaphone 300x300 image Jul19

This New Zealand ShakeOut audio announcement can be used to facilitate your Drop Cover and Hold earthquake drill. Play it through a speaker or PA so everyone knows the correct action to take.

DrillDay-Shakeout-and-Tsunami-Hikoi-audio-Sep18_2.mp3 mp3 1.9 MB
drop cover hold

Download and print this factsheet in 24 languages to share what to do in an earthquake.

drop-cover-earthquake-happens-fact-ar-jan17.pdf pdf 166 KB
drop-cover-earthquake-happens-fact-bi-jan17.pdf pdf 115 KB
drop-cover-earthquake-happens-fact-ci-jan17.pdf pdf 125 KB
drop-cover-earthquake-happens-fact-en-dec16.pdf pdf 2 MB
drop-cover-earthquake-happens-fact-es-jan17.pdf pdf 115 KB
drop-cover-earthquake-happens-fact-fj-jan17.pdf pdf 113 KB
drop-cover-earthquake-happens-fact-gu-jan17.pdf pdf 162 KB
drop-cover-earthquake-happens-fact-hi-jan17.pdf pdf 427 KB
drop-cover-earthquake-happens-fact-ja-jan17.pdf pdf 159 KB
drop-cover-earthquake-happens-fact-ko-jan17.pdf pdf 156 KB
drop-cover-earthquake-happens-fact-mi-jan17.pdf pdf 117 KB
drop-cover-earthquake-happens-fact-my-jan17.pdf pdf 161 KB
drop-cover-earthquake-happens-fact-pa-jan17.pdf pdf 159 KB
drop-cover-earthquake-happens-fact-ru-jan17.pdf pdf 117 KB
drop-cover-earthquake-happens-fact-sm-jan17.pdf pdf 128 KB
drop-cover-earthquake-happens-fact-so-jan17.pdf pdf 115 KB
drop-cover-earthquake-happens-fact-ta-jan17.pdf pdf 168 KB
drop-cover-earthquake-happens-fact-th-jan17.pdf pdf 273 KB
drop-cover-earthquake-happens-fact-tl-jan17.pdf pdf 103 KB
drop-cover-earthquake-happens-fact-to-jan17.pdf pdf 118 KB
drop-cover-earthquake-happens-fact-ur-jan17.pdf pdf 141 KB
drop-cover-earthquake-happens-fact-vi-jan17.pdf pdf 256 KB
drop-cover-earthquake-happens-fact-zh-hans-jan17.pdf pdf 192 KB
drop-cover-earthquake-happens-fact-zh-hant-jan17.pdf pdf 185 KB

Tsunami hīkoi

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. The East Coast LAB Website has more information about the tsunami hīkoi.

Find out more (
Tsunami hikoi 656x369 image Jun19

After the drill

After your drill is complete:

  • talk about what you learned;
  • make changes to your household emergency plan, business emergency and continuity plans or school / early childhood centre emergency plans if you need to; and
  • share your ShakeOut photos, videos and stories on social media.
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