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Get ready to ShakeOut

12 October, 2015

Get ready to ShakeOut

If you see people diving under their desks this Thursday, be prepared to join them. By doing so, you’ll be among the first people on earth to take part in an international earthquake drill, ShakeOut, at 9.15am on Thursday 15 October.

More than 1.1 million New Zealanders – including 380,000 Aucklanders - have signed up to take part, which could make it the biggest (per capita) ShakeOut drill in the world. It’s not too late to join ShakeOut – registrations on the ShakeOut 2015 website are still open, or you can join in the drill without signing up.

ShakeOut is an international initiative created to help people and organisations be better prepared for major earthquakes by practising ‘Drop, Cover and Hold’, the right actions to take during an earthquake.

Every year New Zealand experiences more than 20,000 earthquakes. Most of them are too small or deep in the earth to be noticed, but more than 100 are big enough to be felt. While Aucklanders generally have a low level of concern about these catastrophic natural disasters, the Canterbury earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 have proven that a severe earthquake can occur at any time, and in unexpected locations.

“I plan to be diving for cover on Thursday morning and I hope other Aucklanders will join me,” says Councillor Sharon Stewart, Civil Defence and Emergency Management Committee chairperson. “ShakeOut is a fun way for people to learn how to be prepared for an earthquake – because you never know where you’ll be if one strikes.”

Auckland Council Civil Defence and Emergency Management Director John Dragicevich says everyone should sign up on the ShakeOut 2015 website and participate in the exercise.

“ShakeOut aims to get 1.5 million New Zealanders to drop, cover and hold, so that in an earthquake we’ll all know straight away what actions to take to protect ourselves, our families and the people around us,” he says.

“We want as many people as possible taking part, from individuals and families to schools, shops, businesses and other organisations.”

Mr Dragicevich says ShakeOut is a great reminder for Aucklanders to be more prepared for earthquakes or other natural disasters.

“If everyone prepares before an emergency we will be better equipped to cope in the event of any disaster,” he says.

Sign up today at shakeout.govt.nz and help New Zealand become the first country in the world to take part in the global drill this year.


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