At 9.30am on October 18, New Zealanders far and wide will simultaneously drop to floor to take cover, but don’t fret, it’s all part of a drill.
ShakeOut is the name of the international earthquake drill and tsunami hikoi which serves to raise awareness and education about what to do in the event of an earthquake or tsunami.
It involves two parts, the earthquake drill; where people are encouraged to act as they would during an earthquake; and a tsunami hikoi, where people are encouraged to learn their local evacuation route in the event of a tsunami.
In addition the ShakeOut encourages people to plan and prepare in advance of either event.
According to Civil Defence, practising these skills twice a year significantly lowers the chance of being injured in either event.
How to ShakeOut
1. Sign up at shakeout.govt.nz/signup (takes two minutes).
2. Follow the steps at bopcivildefence.govt.nz/get-ready. This includes making an emergency plan, packing a getaway kit and knowing what to do with your pets.
3. Conduct the earthquake drill. If you are in a coastal area take a walk to familiarise yourself with your evacuation route in the event of a tsunami.
How to conduct an earthquake drill
Drop to your hands and knees to ensure you don’t fall.
Cover your head and neck. If possible take shelter under a sturdy table or desk. Do not move more than three steps.
Hold onto your head and neck (or protection) until the shaking stops.
How to conduct a tsunami hikoi
Find your evacuation route at bopcivildefence.govt.nz/know-your-hazards/tsunami/ or find your local tsunami map at bopcivildefence.govt.nz/documents/. These maps can also be obtained from your local council.
It is important to know the natural warning signs. If an earthquake is Long or Strong - Get Gone. If you notice unusual sea water levels or noises coming from the ocean - Get Gone.