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New Zealand ShakeOut
9.26am Wednesday 26 September 2012

Earthquake information
Shakeout exercise planning

New Zealand ShakeOut was a national earthquake preparedness campaign that led up to a public, nation-wide earthquake drill at 9.26am on 26 September (9:26-26:9). The aim of the campaign was for everyone who participated to be better prepared to ‘Get Thru’ an earthquake. 1,340,529 people were registered to participate in the drill, which is approximately 30 per cent of New Zealand’s population. It was the first ShakeOut earthquake drill held nationwide in the world and was the biggest earthquake public education campaign ever staged in New Zealand.

Public facilities such as schools and hospitals as well as workplaces, community groups, families and individuals participated in the drill and successfully took a step towards better preparing themselves for an emergency. For many of these groups, the ShakeOut activities did not stop there. Building evacuations, group discussions and debriefs, business continuity testing and full scale exercises were conducted across the country. Many stories of families and individuals checking and replenishing their household emergency supplies were received.

The six month campaign started on Thursday 29 March at Owhiro Bay School in Wellington, where the Minister of Civil Defence, Hon Chris Tremain, launched the New Zealand ShakeOut website ( The website was the main conduit of information for the campaign. It allowed people to register their participation, see who else was participating, find information about how to be involved, learn about the earthquake risk in their region, and learn how to prepare for earthquakes. The website was supported by the Facebook page ( and Twitter account (@nzgetthru), as well as radio and TV advertising.

New Zealand ShakeOut was modelled on the highly successful Great California ShakeOut, which began in 2008 and is now an annual event involving over 8 million people. The ShakeOut concept is spreading to other states in the USA and to other countries including Canada, New Zealand and Japan. In New Zealand, the West Coast held its own Great West Coast ShakeOut in 2009 as part of a civil defence exercise.

New Zealand ShakeOut 2012 report and recommendations for future New Zealand ShakeOut campaigns
A New Zealand ShakeOut report was compiled, which documents the processes involved in developing and running the New Zealand ShakeOut campaign, primarily at the national level. While the tremendous amount of work that occurred at regional and local levels by civil defence and partner agencies is acknowledged, these efforts have not all been captured in this report. This report incorporates feedback from New Zealand ShakeOut participants and includes recommendations for further earthquake preparedness information and for future New Zealand ShakeOut campaigns.

It is recommended that a New Zealand ShakeOut campaign be held on a regular basis and the date of the next New Zealand ShakeOut will be decided by the National Exercise Programme Governance Group in August 2013.