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

Taking part is a great way for your family, and the people you care about, to learn the right actions to take before, during and after an earthquake and tsunami.

Get ready

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

  • Identify safe places to Drop, Cover and Hold such as under a sturdy piece of furniture or against an interior wall and practise the Drop, Cover and Hold drill.
  • Check to see if live, work or study in a tsunami evacuation zone and make plans for a tsunami hīkoi if you are in a coastal area.
  • Practise your tsunami hīkoi so you know where to go. Try taking your pet for a walk along your evacuation route.
  • Make a Household Emergency Plan so everyone in your household knows what to do in an emergency.
  • Work our what supplies you need for a grab bag or an emergency kit. 
  • Visit the EQC website to find out how to quake-safe your home.

Special requirements

If you, or a member of your household, has a disability or any special requirements that may affect your/their ability to Drop, Cover or Hold or practise a tsunami hīkoi, we have information to help you get ready.

Find out more
Cartoon showing 'LOCK, COVER and HOLD' when using a walker

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.

After the drill

After your drill is complete:

  • Talk about what you learned.
  • Make changes to your household emergency plan.
  • Share your ShakeOut photos, videos and stories on social media.
  • Complete our ShakeOut survey.

Sign up for ShakeOut

Sign up to take part in New Zealand ShakeOut 2020 and you're in to win one of five personal emergency grab bags.

Sign up
Photograph of a father and son doing the Drop, Cover and Hold drill under their kitchen table

Share the ShakeOut

It’s important that everyone knows what to do for ShakeOut. You never know where you will be or who’s going to be around in an emergency. 

  • Our Share the ShakeOut page has resources for you to share with your employer, school or any group you are part of so you can encourage them to do the drill together.
  • Share the ShakeOut on social media to let people about ShakeOut and what you're going to be doing on drill day.

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
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
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.

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.

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.

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