An earthquake can happen without warning and could vary in intensity.

It is best to be prepared and know what to do before, during, and after an earthquake.


Prepare for an earthquake

  • Develop a Whānau Emergency Plan. Use this template –  [Whānau Emergency Plan]
  • Prepare your Emergency Go Bag with food, water and other important supplies.
  • Practice Drop, Cover and Hold.
  • Identify safe places within your home, school or workplace.
  • Secure heavy appliances, hot water cylinder, and items of furniture to the floor or wall.
  • Keep an emergency bag at work as well.


During an earthquake

  • Drop, cover, and hold.
  • Move away from windows that may shatter and large furniture that could fall.
  • Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you are sure it is to exit.
  • If you are outside, find a clear area away from buildings, trees, streetlights and power lines. Drop to the ground and stay there until the shaking stops.
  • If you are in a coastal area, drop cover and hold during the earthquake. If the shaking is long and strong, move as far inland as possible as soon as the shaking stops.
  • If you are driving, pull over when it’s safe and stay there until the shaking stops.



After an earthquake

  • Check yourself and your whānau for any injuries and apply first aid if necessary.
  • Look around for damage that may need fixing.
  • Expect aftershocks. Each time you feel one, drop, cover, and hold.
  • Listen to news or emergency updates and instructions from Civil Defence.
  • Text instead of call to check on other whānau, friends and neighbours.
  • Call 111 for life-threatening emergencies.