Learn about hazards
In New Zealand we have a lot of natural hazards. Earthquakes, floods, landslides, snow, storms, tsunami, volcanic activity, and other hazards can happen any time and often without warning.
Drop, Cover and Hold is the right action to take in an earthquake.
It stops you being knocked over, makes 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). If there is no shelter nearby, and cover your head and neck with your arms and hands.
- 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.
If there is no shelter near you crawl to an inside corner of the room and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms.
Many people are injured while trying to move DURING the shaking. It is safer to Drop, Cover, and Hold until the shaking is over.
For a local source tsunami, which could arrive in minutes, there won’t be time for an official warning. It is important to recognise the natural warning signs and act quickly.
If you are near a shore and experience any of the following, take action. Do not wait for official warnings.
- Feel a strong earthquake that makes it hard to stand or a long earthquake that lasts more than a minute
- See a sudden rise or fall in sea level
- Hear loud or unusual noises from the sea
As soon as the shaking stops, move immediately to the nearest high ground, out of all tsunami evacuation zones, or as far inland as you can.
Remember, Long or Strong, Get Gone.
The Get Ready website has information about what to do before, during and after emergencies in New Zealand. Earthquakes, floods, landslides, snow, storms, tsunami, volcanic activity, and other hazards can happen any time and often without warning.