Get ready to drop, cover and hold for New Zealand ShakeOut

Publish Date : 25 Oct 2022
Shakedown 2022

New Zealand ShakeOut, our national earthquake drill and tsunami hikoi is taking place on Thursday 27 October 2022 at 9.30am.

ShakeOut is held annually across Aotearoa New Zealand to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake. This year marks the 10-year anniversary and over the last decade we have always come together to DROP, COVER and HOLD, and practice tsunami hīkoi.

Auckland Emergency Management General Manage Paul Amaral says, “It is important to practice ShakeOut every year so we all know the correct actions to take in an event of real earthquake or tsunami.

“It is also a good opportunity for everyone to think about their preparedness and have a conversation with family and friends about what to do in an emergency and how to stay informed.”

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) is encouraging all households, schools, and organisations to officially sign up for ShakeOut. A total of 529,700 participants have already registered nationwide.

Sign up for ShakeOut and be in the draw to win a civil defence wheelie bin or personal grab bag.

ShakeOut is a self-run drill. There are lots of resources you can use to encourage your friends, family and colleagues to practice earthquake and tsunami drills. Download posters, factsheets and more at

“It is a good idea to take note of what might be happening around you in a real earthquake and what you might need to prepare for it.”

Drop, Cover, Hold

In an earthquake, Drop, Cover, Hold. It stops you being knocked over, makes you a smaller target for falling and flying objects, and protects your head, neck and vital organs.

  • DROP down on your hands and knees. This protects you from falling but lets you move if you need to.
  • COVER your head and neck (or your entire body if possible) under a sturdy table or desk (if it is within a few steps of you).

If there is no shelter nearby and cover your head and neck with your arms and hands.

  • HOLD on to your shelter (or your position to protect your head and neck) until the shaking stops. If the shaking shifts your shelter around, move with it.

If there is no shelter near you, crawl to an inside corner of the room and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms.

Do not run outside or stand in a doorway. Many people are injured while trying to move during the shaking.

It is safer to Drop, Cover, and Hold until the shaking is over.

If you use a walker or a wheelchair

If you use a walker or wheelchair, Lock, Cover and Hold. 

  • Lock your wheels and get as low as possible. 
  • Bend over and Cover your head and neck as best you can. 
  • Then Hold on until the shaking stops.
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