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. You can register everyone in two minutes.
  • Share the ShakeOut and get others involved.
  • Note the time and date in your calendar - Thursday 17 October 2019 at 1.30pm. If you cannot do the drill at 1.30pm on 17 October 2019, you can choose a time to suit you within two weeks of the drill and still be counted.
  • Make plans for a tsunami hīkoi if you are in a coastal area.
  • Find tsunami evacuation zone maps for your region.
  • Learn about the earthquake and tsunami risk in your area and other parts of New Zealand.


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. The following resources are to help you run your New Zealand ShakeOut earthquake drill and tsunami hīkoi.


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

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.

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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