Ashburton is preparing for NZ ShakeOut, our national earthquake drill

Schools, businesses, families and individuals in the Ashburton district are among thousands across the country preparing for ShakeOut 2021 in New Zealand, our national earthquake drill on Thursday October 28th.

The exercise, which takes place at 9:30 a.m. that day, is used to practice drop, cover and hold.

This should ideally be done twice a year and you can prepare in advance by finding a safe place like under a strong table or next to an inside wall to take refuge in a quake. Planning in advance also includes several days of preparation and storage.

Those who live near the coast can also take part in a tsunami hikoi (evacuation walk) on October 28th.

Drop, cover and hold prevents you from being knocked over, makes you a smaller target for flying and falling objects, and protects your head, neck, and vital organs.

If you’re driving in an earthquake, stop in an open area, stop, and stay with your seat belt on until the shaking stops. When you are in bed, stay there.

Earthquakes are among the top five contingency risks for Ashburton District, and while we cannot predict when earthquakes will occur, research has shown that the South Island Alpine Fault regularly causes large earthquakes. Scientists say the next serious illness will likely appear in our lifetime.

Jane Donaldson, director of the Ashburton District Council’s strategy and compliance group, said the council has an important role in civil defense disaster management as part of a Canterbury and national response team.

“Although Covid-19 is an event that has caught our attention lately, people need to be prepared for other types of emergencies. We have about 30 local businesses, schools, preschools, and families or individuals who have signed up for the exercise next month and we would love to see others join in too. “

She said that while schools and preschools are an obvious way to educate young people about earthquakes, workplaces are also a way to share important information. The resources are available in a number of formats and languages.

Sign up for the ShakeOut at

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