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.
All New Zealand wāhi mahi / workplaces should develop a plan for what to do immediately after a major earthquake, assuming serious damage. Smaller, more common, earthquakes can use a scaled-back version.
The plan needs to focus on what staff and visitors need to do to protect each other.
Discuss arrangements with staff from other organisations in the building. Arrange to check on and support each other during and after an earthquake.
Work out whether your building is in a tsunami evacuation zone and if so, work out an evacuation plan in the event of a Long or Strong earthquake.
Talk to employees with disabilities. Find out what assistance, if any, they require if there’s an emergency. Consider how to assist any visitors who have a disability.
Business continuity planning, which protects the business’ ability to keep trading or to recover, is also important but should be kept separate from the immediate wāhi mahi/workplace earthquake response plan to avoid confusion.