Find basic instructions on how you can get prepared and take part in New Zealand ShakeOut.

Before the drill

  • Sign up to ShakeOut - it only takes two minutes.
  • Make a note of the date and time in your calendar – 9:30am, 15 October 2020. If the date and time don't work for you, you can ShakeOut anytime within two weeks of the national drill and still be counted.
  • Know your tsunami evacuation zone. Make plans for a tsunami hīkoi if you are in a coastal area.
  • Learn about the earthquake and tsunami risk in your area and other parts of New Zealand.
  • Share the ShakeOut - use our resources to get the people around you involved.
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

You can start your ShakeOut drill in whatever way works for you. Use a bell or whistle, play the New Zealand ShakeOut Announcement, shout “EARTHQUAKE DRILL” or tune in to our 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).
  • 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 share this factsheet in English on what to do before, during and after an earthquake.

drop-cover-earthquake-happens-fact-en-dec16.pdf pdf 2 MB

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.

Find out more
Tsunami hikoi 656x369 image Jun19

After the drill

After your ShakeOut drill and tsunami hīkoi:

  • Make changes or add to your household emergency plan, personal workplace 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.


Maori Drop Cover Hold Thumbnail

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

drop-cover-earthquake-happens-fact-mi-jan17.pdf pdf 117 KB
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