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A former UC graduate organising NZ ShakeOut day

A former UC graduate organising NZ ShakeOut day

September 12, 2012

Former University of Canterbury (UC) graduate Anita Komen is co-coordinating New Zealand ShakeOut, an earthquake preparedness campaign culminating in a national earthquake drill on September 26 at 9.26am.

Komen, who did a masters degree in Hazard and Disaster Management at UC, said Civil Defence aimed to have one million people participating in the September 26 drill.

"So far we have over 1,080,000 people participating which is great. The 9:26-26:9 earthquake drill is to help people prepare themselves for an earthquake. We recognise this is just one of many steps to preparedness, and we are encouraging individuals and families, businesses, and other organisations to look at their preparedness in more detail.

"Having the support of Cantabrians is really special given all that people there have been through. Canterbury’s participation provides a great opportunity to tell the rest of New Zealand how crucial it is to be prepared for large earthquakes and to share with others tips on getting prepared," Komen said today.

New Zealand ShakeOut is based on the California ShakeOut, which began in 2008 and is now an annual event involving over eight million people. The concept is spreading to other states in the U.S.A and to other countries including Canada and Japan. In New Zealand, the West Coast held its own Great West Coast ShakeOut in 2009 as part of a civil defence exercise.

The Canterbury earthquakes showed what a terrible impact a large earthquake can have on people and the country, Komen said.

ENDS

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