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New Zealanders prepare for September Shake Out

May 11th, 2012 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

ABOUT 2000 teenage boys at Wellington College will drop, cover and hold in unison at 9.26am on September 26, in the first nationwide earthquake drill.

Dubbed the ShakeOut, Civil Defence Emergency Management aims to have a total of one million participants involved in the drill.

The ShakeOut is modelled on the successful Californian drills, which raised awareness and involved eight million participants.

Associate principal Dave Ashby , says Wellington College takes earthquakes and emergencies seriously and have regular drills.

“We have a drill every term. We will be doing the drop, cover and hold thing.”

Mr Ashby says it is a positive national event given the effects in Canterbury emphasise the importance of preparedness.

“I think it’s a great idea, especially in Wellington, an earthquake zone. It should be a requirement.”

Many schools and businesses across the country are already enrolled alongside Wellington College.

The ShakeOut is being organised by Civil Defence Emergency Management Advisor, Jo Guard.

“We know earthquakes happen in New Zealand and we want to build on this awareness to help people understand the right actions to take in an earthquake,” says Ms Guard.

She has been campaigning for the event since March 29 and began her efforts at Owhiro Bay Primary School.

So far the website has listed 52,000 participants from all over the country, with more enrolling each day, especially in the capital city.

“We’re seeing quite a few registrations from the Wellington region. It would be safe to say that many Wellingtonians understand their earthquake risk.”

Ms Guard says numbers are expected to grow once the advertising campaign begins in July, and as the event draws closer.

She is confident they will reach their target of one million participants.

During the drill, participants will be expected to “Drop, Cover, and Hold ” because Civil Defence has ruled this the safest immediate action when an earthquake strikes.

“Drop” means to get low to the ground, “cover” means find shelter under a solid object, and “hold” means brace yourself underneath and cover your head until shaking stops.

For anyone who wants to be involved, registration can be found on their website.

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