All in readiness for nationwide earthquake drill

Monday 24 September 2012, 4:09PM
By Otago Regional Council


Otago local authorities are ready for New Zealand Shakeout, the nationwide earthquake simulation drill which will take place this Wednesday (September 26) at 9.26am.

Nearly 50,000 people in the region will take part in the drill. As of today, this includes 25,633 people in the Dunedin City Council area; 7432 in Queenstown-Lakes District, 4248 in Central Otago District, 3925 in Clutha District, and 5069 in Waitaki District.

More than half of the Otago participants are from schools and pre-schools with 110 registrations from pre-schools on behalf of 5020 participants, and 128 registrations from schools on behalf of 28,440 participants.

Otago Civil Defence Emergency Management Group public information manager Peter Taylor said it was not too late for businesses, organisations, and individuals to register for the drill at

At least 1.2 million people nationwide will “Drop, Cover and Hold’ once the ‘sting’ signalling the start of the drill is broadcast on radio and television.

The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management is keen for public feedback on their experience of the drill. This can be done by completing a survey form available on the Shakeout website, and returning it to Civil Defence, so that aspects of the exercise requiring improvement can be dealt with before any future earthquake.

Mr Taylor encouraged everyone in the Otago region to take part in the drill if possible.

“New Zealand ShakeOut has been created to help people and organisations become better prepared for major earthquakes, and practice how to be protected when they happen,” he said.

“This drill is an opportunity for households and businesses to create, review, and practice their planning for an earthquake or any other potential emergency.”

Otago Regional Council (ORC) staff will be taking part in the drill. Afterwards key personnel in the Otago CDEM, which ORC co-ordinates, will conduct a review and debriefing of the exercise.

Mr Taylor said territorial local authorities throughout the region had planned various community activities to coincide with the drill.

Dunedin City Council has assisted a number of businesses and schools with their preparations and reviewing their emergency plans. Dunedin Civil Defence staff have also attended community group meetings to encourage local planning for emergencies.

The DCC plans for all staff to participate on the day in addition to the workshop being held with key emergency management personnel considering a Dunedin response to a major earthquake.

QLDC has arranged two workshops in Queenstown and one in Wanaka on Wednesday and Thursday for its staff as an in-depth follow-up to the Shakeout drill.

Waitaki District Council has reported good involvement from schools with eight preschools, 15 primary schools, three schools and a polytechnic registered as participants.

Clutha District has been working with local schools and playcentres, helping the children practice the drill. On the day the Clutha District Council will also undertake a desktop exercise, including a simulation of the power being cut and testing of emergency power generation.