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New Zealand ShakeOut 2015 launched today

28 Apr 2015, 2:17 PM

Civil Defence Minister Nikki Kaye today launched New Zealand ShakeOut 2015, a six month campaign leading up to a national earthquake drill at 9.15am on 15 October 2015.

“Today I launched ShakeOut at Thorndon School in Wellington, because schools led the way during the last drill, with over half a million students and teachers taking part.

“However, we need not only schools but as many other organisations as possible involved, such as community groups, shops and businesses.

“I also encourage individuals and families to learn more about how to get through an earthquake, and take part in the drill to drop, cover and hold, a practice that could save your life.

“If you go to the ShakeOut website you can sign up to be part of the campaign, and get a range of information and resources to use before, during and after the drill.”

Ms Kaye says the previous New Zealand ShakeOut in 2012 saw 1.3 million people sign up to take part, but this year she’d like to see that increase to at least 1.5 million people.

“We’re a country prone to earthquakes so we all need to take responsibility and know how to get through.

“Just last week we had a magnitude 6.2 earthquake centred near St Arnaud. People need to know the importance of drop, cover and hold, and having an emergency kit at home.

“Today is also World Day for Safety and Health at work, so it’s an appropriate reminder for businesses to be prepared and make sure staff know what to do in an emergency.”

Ms Kaye was joined at today’s launch by International ShakeOut creator Mark Benthien and his team from the University of Southern California.

“ShakeOut began in California but is spreading to other US states and countries such as Canada and Japan, as well as New Zealand.

“In 2012 New Zealand had the largest participation rate of any ShakeOut anywhere. It would be great if Kiwis once again show that we’re world leaders in earthquake drills, to improve our preparedness as a nation.

“At the school today we acknowledged the people of Nepal, as they deal with the devastation of the weekend’s earthquakes there.”

To sign up and get more information, go to www.shakeout.govt.nz