Is your school prepared for an earthquake?

Issue: Volume 97, Number 17

Posted: 24 September 2018
Reference #: 1H9kyA

The New Zealand ShakeOut, a nationwide earthquake drill and tsunami hīkoi, is helping students and staff prepare for an earthquake.

Due to its location and environment, New Zealand faces the possibility of a variety of natural disasters. By practising how to react to earthquakes and tsunami, teachers can help to prepare students in the event of an emergency.

This year’s New Zealand ShakeOut, a national earthquake drill and tsunami hīkoi, is taking place on 18 October at 9.30am.

During the drill, people all over New Zealand will drop to the ground, take cover and hold on to something solid. Those based in a coastal area may also practise a tsunami hīkoi or evacuation walk.

Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management Senior Public Education Adviser Bridget Cheesman says the aim is for Kiwis to learn and practise the right actions to take before, during and after an earthquake and tsunami.

As well as the resources available online for teachers, the ShakeOut Challenge includes resources for students to take home and complete with whānau.

The resources also include content created specifically for younger students, such as a ‘Turtle Safe’ video aimed at preschool children that explains emergency procedures in a way they can understand.

“Teachers who talk to their students and encourage them to ask questions about earthquakes can help reduce fear and anxiety,” Bridget says.

“It is important to remind students that while an earthquake can be a frightening experience for everyone, it will get better and there will be people around to help. Younger students may benefit from having an opportunity to express their feelings by drawing.”

The New Zealand ShakeOut(external link) is organised by the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management and the Earthquake Commission.

Schools can register for the ShakeOut Schools Challenge(external link)

What’s the Plan, Stan(external link)?’ is a resource to support schools, teachers, students, and parents to develop the knowledge and skills to prepare for emergency events, with teaching resources for Years 1–8.

Find out more about emergencies and make a plan at link).

Remember, in an earthquake...

DROP down on your hands and knees. This protects you from falling but lets you move if you need to. If you are outside or there are no tables around, take no more than three steps away from things that can fall on you.

COVER your head and neck (or your entire body if possible) under a sturdy table or desk (if it is within a few steps of you). If there is no shelter nearby, cover your head and neck with your arms and hands.

HOLD on to your shelter (or your position to protect your head and neck) until the shaking stops. If the shaking shifts your shelter around, move with it.

Remember there may be aftershocks.

If you are near the coast and feel an earthquake that is long or strong, move immediately to higher ground or as far inland as possible. Walk or bike if you can.


BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 9:17 am, 24 September 2018

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