At 9:26 this morning more than a million people will participate in the earthquake drill ShakeOut.
This will be the first nationwide earthquake drill ever held in any country.
Until a couple of years ago we might have thought it was academic.
But the Canterbury quakes changed that.
These are the shaky isles and we should all know how to drop, cover and hold.
People in Christchurch know the drop, cover and hold drill and it is important that the rest of us do too.
That’s the motivation behind the Great New Zealand Shakeout – the country’s largest ever earthquake drill which is being held at 9:26am on September 26 (9:26 on 26.9).
While earthquake hazard varies from region to region (see below), all of New Zealand is prone to earthquakes. You could be anywhere when an earthquake strikes – at home, at work, at school or on holiday.
New Zealand ShakeOut has been created to help people and organisations get better prepared for major earthquakes, and practice how to be protected when they happen. Everyone will practice “Drop, Cover and Hold”—the right action to take in an earthquake.
New Zealand ShakeOut also provides a fantastic opportunity for organisations and businesses to examine and review their own emergency preparedness arrangements. Families and households can create, review and practice their household plans.
Civil Defence Minister Chris Tremain says that more than 100,000 people have already registered to participate.
It’s easy to think it won’t happen here, but that’s what Canterbury people would have thought before the September 2010 earthquake. That and the thousands that have followed are proof it could happen anywhere and we all ought to know how to protect ourselves and those around us.
We’ve had all-too regular reminders that these are the shaky isles and we need to be prepared for the shaking wherever and whenever it happens.