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New Zealand earthquake drill leads world again

Hon Nikki Kaye

Minister of Civil Defence

15 October 2015

New Zealand earthquake drill leads world again

Initial results show that official sign-ups for New Zealand ShakeOut 2015 have beaten our 2012 national earthquake drill, with over 1.35 million Kiwis signed up this year, says Civil Defence Minister Nikki Kaye.

“We estimate that more than 1.5 million Kiwis actually took part in ShakeOut today, practising the potentially lifesaving action of drop, cover and hold,” says Ms Kaye.

“To complement the range of promotional activity and sign-ups across the country, this year we were fortunate to have Facebook come onboard and deliver information direct to the newsfeed of New Zealanders, as well as host other promotional material.

“Newsfeed messages over a 24-hour period before the drill reached over 130,000 New Zealanders, while material hosted on Facebook received over 750,000 views.

“We know in times of disaster people turn to Facebook to check on peoples’ wellbeing, so it makes sense to include the use of Facebook to help prepare for emergencies too.

“Once again, New Zealand takes the record for the largest per capita participation rate of any country in a ShakeOut earthquake drill.

“Countries involved in ShakeOut this year include the United States, Japan and Iran. It’s pretty clear from sign-ups that we are well ahead of other countries.

“This bodes well for our preparedness for earthquakes, because with more people taking part in the drill, awareness of the right thing to do to stay safe will spread.

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“Schools led the way, making up over half of the participants in ShakeOut 2015.

“Around 83 per cent of students and staff in New Zealand schools registered, which is a fantastic result, and will help ensure our young people grow up with drop, cover and hold as their automatic response in an earthquake.

“Wellington was the region where the most people per head of population signed up. Wellington City is a member of the world’s ‘100 Resilient Cities’, so those living in the capital clearly see the value of doing the turtle, as drop, cover and hold is known to young children.

“I’d like to thank all New Zealanders who took part in ShakeOut today. People across the world die as a result of not knowing what to do in an earthquake, so we’re a safer nation for ensuring more of us choose to drop, cover and hold.

“I’d also like to acknowledge all the civil defence emergency management staff and businesses, schools, organisations and well-known New Zealanders who helped promote ShakeOut 2015.

“Through videos, posters, motorway signs, TV and radio ads and online activity, you ensured the message got out to people to take part.

“Here in New Zealand we truly are the shaky isles, with one earthquake every half hour on average. We never know when the next major quake will happen, which is why ShakeOut plays an important role.

“Today’s event was a success that helps make us safer and better prepared as a nation.”


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