Readiness: Get prepared to respond to earthquakes

This page provides earthquake readiness messages.

Make and practise your emergency plan, have a grab bag and emergency supplies.

In a severe earthquake, every second counts. Make sure you know what actions to take in the places where you spend most of your time.

Practise Drop, Cover and Hold at least twice a year. You can do this when the clocks change for daylight savings and take part in New Zealand’s annual ShakeOut drill. It’s important to practise so that when a real earthquake happens, you know what to do. If you live, work or socialise in a tsunami evacuation zone, practise a tsunami evacuation drill. Read more about tsunami.

Identify safe locations within your whare/home, kura/school, wāhi mahi / workplace and other places you frequently visit:

  • Somewhere close to you, no more than a few steps (less than three metres away), to avoid injury from flying debris.
  • Under a strong table. Hold on to the table legs to keep it from moving away from you.
  • Away from windows that can shatter and cause injury and tall furniture that can fall on you. Protect your head and neck with your arms.
  • Keep in mind that in modern homes, doorways are no stronger than any other part of the structure, and usually have doors that can swing and injure you.