At 9.26am on September 26, as many as 1 million people nationwide will heed the call to “drop, cover, hold” – the recognised way for anyone inside a building to respond in the event of a big quake. Taking cover in a crouched position, preferably beneath such things as desks or tables, has been shown to greatly improve survival odds.
Civil defence authorities say it is vital people are trained to respond instantly in the approved manner when a quake strikes because any confusion about what to do can result in injured or death.
They say people should identify a safe place and move immediately to it when shaking begins. The safe place should be within a few steps or metres to avoid injury from flying debris.
And in the case of visitors to council facilities at 9.26am, that will mean being encouraged to follow council staff under a desk, table or other safe place.
Local authorities around the country are increasing their efforts to sign up as many people as possible for the September 26 drill. To date, more than 620,000 have committed to participating in ShakeOut.
For more information or to regsiter your workplace or organsiation go to www.shakeout.govt.nz