Almost half a million signed up with one month to go until ShakeOut!

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The countdown is on! There’s just one month until NZ ShakeOut, our national earthquake drill and tsunami hīkoi.

The countdown is on! There’s just one month until NZ ShakeOut, our national earthquake drill and tsunami hīkoi.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) says 500,000 people have signed up to Drop, Cover and Hold and practice their tsunami hīkoi on 19 October at 9:30am. Join them and sign up at

NEMA’s Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, John Price says it’s fantastic to see almost half a million people already signed up.

“Last year, over 700,000 people signed up to practice the correct actions to take during an earthquake and tsunami. I encourage your school, business, community group and whānau to sign up to take part, if you haven’t already,” says Mr Price. 

Mr Price says NZ ShakeOut is being held on the same day as the International ShakeOut Day, and here in New Zealand we’ll be the first country in the world to hold the drill.

“By practising ShakeOut each year, knowing what to do in an earthquake and tsunami will become second nature and that’ll be a huge advantage when an earthquake or tsunami happens,” says Mr Price.

"Before the drill, check your tsunami evacuation zone using our map and make plans for your tsunami hīkoi if you are in a coastal area.

“Remember that no matter where you live, work or play if you are near the coast, and you’re in an earthquake that is strong enough to make it difficult to stand up, or lasts a minute or more, you should immediately head inland or for higher ground.”

New Zealand ShakeOut 2023 is co-sponsored by Toka Tū Ake EQC.

Toka Tū Ake EQC Chief Resilience and Research Officer, Dr Jo Horrocks says they are proud to support ShakeOut again.

“At Toka Tū Ake EQC, we’re working really hard to minimise the impact of future natural hazards on communities. Our beautiful land is one of the highest-risk countries in the world for a range of natural hazards, but there is a lot we can all do to prepare for them.”

Dr Horrocks is pleased to see that almost half a million Kiwis have already signed up for ShakeOut and is hopeful more will join the challenge.

“Taking a bit of time to think about how hazards could affect us at home, work or school, and then taking steps to prepare – these are things that will make a big difference in a disaster.”

New Zealand ShakeOut is based on the highly successful California ShakeOut which began in 2008 and has now expanded to numerous other US states and countries such as Canada and Japan.

ShakeOut, our national earthquake drill and tsunami hīkoi, is taking place on Thursday 19 October 2023 at 9:30am.

Sign up now and be in to win a Civil Defence wheelie bin or grab bag! Find more information at

Published: Sep 19, 2023, 11:00 AM