Children urged to lead whanau to emergency preparedness in ShakeOut 2018

Minister of Civil Defence Hon Kris Faafoi today launched New Zealand ShakeOut 2018, the national earthquake drill and tsunami hīkoi, at Wilford School in Lower Hutt.

“The NZ ShakeOut earthquake drill and tsunami hīkoi is a great reminder for all New Zealanders to learn the correct actions to take during an earthquake and tsunami, and to check just how prepared you are for an emergency.

“This year we’ve added a tsunami hīkoi because for people living near the coast the most important thing to do may actually be to start the walk to a safe location. It’s important to be aware of whether your home, school or community is at risk from a tsunami, and  ensure everyone knows where to go and how to get there.”

Previous national ShakeOut events in 2012 and 2015, saw schools account for more than half the participants in the Drop, Cover and Hold drill.

“This year I would like to see all New Zealand children taking part, as they will become the new generation of prepared New Zealanders and will encourage their whānau to be prepared too.”

Mr Faafoi says households, workplaces and community organisations should also use ShakeOut as a reminder to check their preparedness plans and emergency supplies.

During this year’s ShakeOut, the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management is partnering with the Earthquake Commission to deliver the New Zealand Schools ShakeOut Challenge 2018. Once schools have registered for ShakeOut they can opt into the challenge, winning prizes for their students and school by teaching their community how to be better prepared.

The New Zealand ShakeOut 2018 national earthquake drill and tsunami hīkoi is taking place on Thursday 18 October 2018 at 9.30am.

To sign up and get more information, go to


Drop, Cover and Hold is the right action to take in an earthquake.

It stops you being knocked over, makes you a smaller target for falling and flying objects and protects your head, neck and vital organs.

Long or Strong, Get Gone. If you are at the coast and experience any of the following:

  • Feel a strong earthquake that makes it hard to stand up, or a weak rolling earthquake that lasts a minute or more,
  • See a sudden rise or fall in sea level,
  • Hear loud and unusual noises from the sea,

Move immediately to the nearest high ground, or as far inland as you can.

Local Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups provide tsunami zone maps and regional advice. Make sure you know where to go, whether you are at home, at work or out and about. A list of tsunami zone maps is available at