Find advice and resources to help teach young children about emergencies.

Turtle Safe

Turtle Safe is an educational DVD developed specifically to teach preschool children what to do if they are inside or outdoors when an earthquake occurs. We encourage teachers to hold several practice drills with the children so they are familiar with the drill. 

Turtle Safe cover

Turtle Safe is an educational DVD developed specifically to teach preschool children what to do if they are inside or outdoors when an earthquake occurs.

turtle-Lyrics.pdf pdf 465 KB
turtle-Safe-song.mp3 mp3 451 KB

Talking to children about earthquakes

We encourage teachers to talk to children about earthquakes to help reduce fear and anxiety. Encourage children to ask questions and provide an opportunity for them to express their feelings by talking or drawing. Remind them that it can be a frightening experience for everyone but that it will get better and there will be people around to help.

An earthquake is when the ground shakes because rocks deep under the ground are moving. When a big earthquake happens there may be a loud rumbling noise and things can start falling down around you. It might also be hard to stand up. You have to act quickly and protect yourself from things that might fall on you.

Remember how a turtle quickly gets into its shell to keep safe? Here’s what you can do.

  • If you are inside, quickly get under a table, and hold on to the table legs (if you can) so the table doesn't move away from you. Stay there until the shaking stops and you are told it is safe to come out by an adult.
  • If you are outside or there are no tables around, take no more than three steps away from things that can fall on you: Drop, Cover and Hold.
  • Remember there may be aftershocks (more earthquakes).
  • Practice your earthquake drill: Drop, Cover and Hold.

Sign up for New Zealand ShakeOut, our national earthquake drill and tsunami hīkoi.

Colouring pages

shakeout colouring thumb en Jul19

Download and print the New Zealand ShakeOut colouring pages for kids.

shakeout-colouring-activ-en-jan12.pdf pdf 6.6 MB