ShakeOut launches to help in emergencies

File photo.

A national earthquake drill and Tsunami hikoi, New Zealand ShakeOut, was launched today at Te Papa’s new earthquake house.

Civil Defence minister Peeni Henare says the ShakeOut is a great opportunity for all New Zealanders to learn the correct actions to take during an earthquake and tsunami.

New Zealand has had three nationwide ShakeOut campaigns, in 2012, 2015 and 2018. Due to their success, they are now an annual exercise.

A new website – has also been launched to make signing up as easy as possible.

“The new ShakeOut website will make it easy for everyone to sign up to take part in the drill and take steps to get prepared,” says Peeni.

“By practising ShakeOut every year, knowing what to do will become second nature when an earthquake or tsunami does happen.”

Peeni says children are leading the way in participating in ShakeOut.

“We want to see all New Zealand children taking part in the drill, as they will become the new generation of prepared New Zealanders and encourage their wh­ānau to be prepared too.”

In previous ShakeOuts, schools, kohanga reo, kura, and early childhood centres made up over half the participants. The new website has lesson plans, colouring pages and a online games to encourage preparedness at home and at school.

New Zealand ShakeOut is based on the highly successful California ShakeOut which began in 2008 and has now spread to numerous other US states and countries such as Canada and Japan.

All learning institutions are encouraged to sign up, hold a drop, cover and hold drill, and plan a tsunami hikoi if they are in a tsunami zone. Families, individuals, businesses and other organisations are also encouraged to take part.

Peeni says New Zealand ShakeOut has become an annual event that helps to ensure everyone knows and practices the correct action to take in an earthquake and tsunami.

The New Zealand ShakeOut 2019 drill and tsunami hikoi, is taking place on Thursday, October 17 at 1.30pm.

To sign up and get more information, go to

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