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Queenstown Lakes District Prepares For Shakeout

7 August 2012

District Prepares For Shakeout

Over two thousand locals have committed themselves to taking part in a nationwide Civil Defence Emergency Management initiative.

ShakeOut is the first ever national earthquake public preparedness drill. At 9.26 on 26 September, 2012 one million people across the country are expected to stop whatever it is they’re doing and take part.

Queenstown Lakes District Council emergency management officer Jon Mitchell said ShakeOut was aimed at helping people, businesses and schools be better prepared for major earthquakes and give everyone an opportunity to practice how to protect themselves.

“Living as close to the Alpine Fault as we do, we need to take the prospect of a major earthquake seriously,” Mr Mitchell said.

“Every year, month, week and day sees the likelihood of a major earthquake on the Alpine Fault increase and this exercise will help everyone prepare to protect themselves and get through such an event.”

Mr Mitchell said 2,107 people had signed up locally so far to take part in ShakeOut and he was expecting many more registrations in the weeks to come.

“The Canterbury earthquakes taught us many important lessons about what happens when an earthquake strikes and we need to regularly take the time to remind ourselves of what to do if a big one hits here.”

“ShakeOut is a great opportunity for everyone to check their level of preparedness and make adjustments if need be. It is an excellent time to think about what you will be dealing once the shaking stops and you crawl out from your place of safety. What can you do now to make the places you live, work or do business more safe and resilient to earthquakes?”

He said the Queenstown Lakes District as a whole already had good emergency management systems in place within communities and organisations, and he was happy to talk to any individual or organisation about any aspect of earthquake and general emergency management risk reduction, readiness, response and recovery.

He also said a series of presentations on earthquake response were being planned around the time of ShakeOut. The lead up to the ShakeOut exercise would also see Council staff and management discuss and further develop their roles in relation to earthquake risk and how they could enhance the resilience of the Council, the services it delivers and the resilience of local communities.

Mr Mitchell said anyone interested in taking part in Shake Out could find out more about the exercise and register to take part on the website www.getthru.govt.nz.

ENDS

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