Communities Getting Ready for a Shake
You can’t predict an earthquake, but you can prepare, that’s the main message for ShakeOut 2019 which is happening on Thursday, 17 October.
The national earthquake drill and tsunami hikoi takes place at 1:30pm to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake – Drop, Cover and Hold – and to practise a tsunami hikoi (evacuation) if in a coastal area.
“The focus is on getting individuals, families, businesses and especially schools to sign up to take part,” Stephen Dunn, the Tararua District Council’s Resilience Manager said.
Shakeout.govt.nz has all the information about signing up.
“We know from recent experience in New Zealand that earthquakes can happen at any time and we know here in Tararua we are on shaky ground,” Dunn said. “Recent large earthquakes in Tararua include the 6.2 magnitude earthquake in Eketahuna on 20 January 2014 and next May it will be 30 years since the Mother’s Day earthquake centered near Weber.
“Take a few minutes to join me and the rest of New Zealand by signing up for ShakeOut and then have a bit of fun on 17 October doing your ShakeOut with family, friends, or colleagues, making sure you have a talk to them about what you are going to do together to prepare.”
Last year 3,092 Tararua school children, secondary and primary, were involved in ShakeOut and this year the focus remains on school children, Dunn said.
“We are really pleased with how many schools and organisations have already signed up to do ShakeOut in Tararua.
“While doing the drill it’s good to imagine it’s real and what would be happening around you if there was an earthquake. As well as practising the drill it’s a great opportunity to talk to family, school or workmates about getting ready for an emergency such as an earthquake.
“The earthquake drill is Drop, Cover, and Hold. We know that by doing that one simple thing it can make a big difference to your safety during an earthquake.”
Drop, Cover and Hold is proven to be the right action to take in an earthquake. It prevents you being knocked over, make 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).
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.
In a severe earthquake it’s vital people respond immediately, so now is the time to look around you, before an earthquake and identify safe places such as under a sturdy piece of furniture or against an interior wall in your home, office or school, so when the shaking starts you can respond quickly.
This is why ShakeOut 2019 is so important, with it’s Drop, Cover and Hold message.
New Zealand experiences more than 20,000 earthquakes every year. Most are too small or too deep to be noticed, but more than 100 earthquakes a year are big enough to be felt and a severe one can occur at any time.
ShakeOut is a crucial event to prepare our children for natural disasters and therefore we are running competitions to encourage participation.
Schools have now recieved entry forms with drop - cover - hold pictures to hand out to children.
As an added effort to make shakeout as fun as possible we have created a video competiton for classrooms.
Class’s are asked to film themselves doing their Shakeout out, Drop - cover - hold.
As disasters can hit at anytime we are excited to see some creative videos coming from our Tararua Schools.
Entries for both competitions close 31 October 2019. We are looking forward to judging these and awarding the winning classes with a “Tararua experience”.
We are more then happy to talk with any groups in the community about how they can participate in ShakeOut.