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If you’re heading to the coast this summer, remember...

If you’re heading to the coast this summer, remember - Long or Strong, Get Gone

Wherever you are this summer, make sure you know the right action to take in an earthquake and possible tsunami.

That’s the message from the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management, which will be running its Drop, Cover, Hold and Long or Strong, Get Gone campaigns again this summer to ensure people know what to do to stay safe if an earthquake strikes.

Director Sarah Stuart-Black says the Ministry’s annual Colmar Brunton survey shows the campaign, which was launched one year ago following the 14 November 2016 earthquake and tsunami, has been successful.

“Of the people surveyed, 73 percent identified correct actions to take during an earthquake, and 83 percent understood that they needed to move inland or to higher ground if they felt a long or strong earthquake near the coast.

“We want to make sure everyone remembers this advice when they’re enjoying a holiday break too.”

The campaign, which starts again tomorrow, involves simple, lively advertising to remind people to take action and will be broadcast on TV, radio, video on demand and online, as well as promotion on social media.

“The launch of the Emergency Mobile Alert system last month will help us to alert people of a tsunami that is generated some distance away, but there may not be time to warn people if a large tsunami-generating earthquake happens closer to home.”

Mrs Stuart-Black says families and friends going on holiday should take the time to check whether their holiday spot is in a tsunami zone, and practise getting to higher ground, or as far inland as possible, on foot or by bike.

“What better way to burn off the Christmas pud than to take a brisk walk with the family to make sure you can all get out of the tsunami zone as quickly as possible. You could make it a race if your family is competitive.”

Families should also practise the right action to take in an earthquake, she says.

In a severe earthquake it is absolutely vital that people respond immediately. Be clear about what actions to take in the environments where you spend most of your time. Look around you now, before an earthquake.

For indoor locations, identify safe places such as under a sturdy piece of furniture or against an interior wall in your home or workplace so that when the shaking starts you can act immediately. If you’re outdoors or camping, be aware of any large trees or nearby structures that could be damaged during strong shaking.

“Drop, Cover and Hold stops you from being knocked over, protects your, head, neck and vital organs, and makes you a smaller target for falling and flying objects.”

Research shows many injuries are caused by people moving during or immediately after the shaking. Even after earthquake shaking stops, move with care as debris can cause further injuries. In a major earthquake, masonry and glass falls off buildings and into the streets.

“If you are inside, Drop, Cover and Hold – do not run outside or you risk getting hit by falling masonry and glass. If you are outside, move away from buildings, trees, streetlights, and power lines, then Drop, Cover and Hold. Stay there until the shaking stops and then, if you are by the coast, remember Long or Strong, Get Gone”

Find out more at www.civildefence.govt.nz/get-tsunami-ready

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