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

Before the drill

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.

Information for schools, businesses and individuals

Doing the drill

ShakeOut is a self-run drill. You can start it in whatever way works for you. Use a bell, whistle or alarm, play the New Zealand ShakeOut Announcement over your PA system, 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). 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.

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.

shakeout-drill-day-audio-en-jul19.mp3 mp3 1.9 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
Photograph of a teacher and her students walking along the footpath out of their tsunami zone

After the drill

After your ShakeOut drill and tsunami hīkoi:

  • Talk about what you learned with your family, workmates, flatmates or friends.
  • 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.
  • Share your ShakeOut photos, videos and stories on social media.
  • Complete our ShakeOut survey.
Get Ready to ShakeOut

Download and print these Certificates of Participation for kids as a thank you for taking part in New Zealand ShakeOut 2020.

shakeout-certificate-blank-pos-a4-en-oct20.pdf pdf 138 KB
shakeout-certificate-generic-pos-a4-en-oct20.pdf pdf 138 KB

Resources

Cartoon showing 'DROP, COVER and 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
Cartoon showing 'DROP, COVER and HOLD' with the text in Te Reo Māori

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
Cartoon showing 'DROP, COVER and HOLD'

Download this factsheet that explains why Drop, Cover and Hold is the right action to take.

drop-cover-right-action-fact-en-apr15.pdf pdf 141 KB
Drop Cover Hold

Drop, Cover and Hold is the right action to take in an earthquake. It stops you being knocked over, makes you a smaller target for falling and flying objects and protects your head, neck and vital organs. Watch this short video to find out more about Drop Cover and Hold.

Photograph of a woman doing the Drop, Cover and Hold drill under a table

Drop, Cover and Hold is the right action to take in an earthquake. It stops you being knocked over, makes you a smaller target for falling and flying objects and protects your head, neck and vital organs. Videos produced by the Southern California Earthquake Center.

If an earthquake is Long or Strong, Get Gone

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

long-strong-earthquake-fact-en-dec16.pdf pdf 1.9 MB
'If an earthquake is Long or Strong, Get Gone' with the text in Te Reo Māori

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

long-strong-earthquake-fact-mi-jan17.pdf pdf 104 KB

For a local source tsunami, which could arrive in minutes, there won’t be time for an official warning. It is important to recognise the natural warning signs and act quickly. Remember, Long or Strong, Get Gone.