Thursday, 28 October 2021

Earthquake Drill


At 9.30am this morning we had New Zealand Shake Out – a simulated earthquake event to remind/teach people how to react if they find themselves in a major earthquake.

The main instruction is to Drop, Cover and Hold, until the shaking ends.

Son and I used the occasion to discuss Home Safety issues – such as which pieces of furniture we should try and avoid during a shake so as not to be injured by items flying off shelves etc.

At precisely 9.30am I happened to be walking through the living room.  No tables here, so I dropped to my knees, covered my head with my arms and tried to make myself as small as possible (not easy!).

Son braced himself in the hall doorway which he was walking through at the time.

I have been through many earthquakes, none of them too serious, and they are usually over before you have a chance to react.  But earthquakes are unpredictable, and one never knows when the next big one might strike.

All the flat land here was ocean before the 1931 Napier earthquake

Hopefully none of us ever has to experience a major earthquake disaster, but the odds are reasonably high (here in New Zealand) that we will do so at some time in our lives.  Those who have been through such disasters already, will tell you that it pays to be prepared.

Stay safe,

Margaret 😊


For anyone wanting further information about earthquake preparedness, or information about how to respond to other natural disasters, the webpage has good comprehensive information that can help.


  1. My late grandmother was a school girl at school when the earthquake in Napier struck, she once told me they all had to hide under school desks until it was over and that her aunt who was in the bath at home ran out of the house naked, must've been a scary experience.

  2. Now that's one thing we don't have to prepare for here!
    Hope the "big one" never happens in your part of NZ

  3. I didn't hear anything for the drill, but I don't have the radio on, which may explain it. Although the other day I had a phone warning about a big-ish (5.8) one south east of Taumaranui, and to look out for aftershocks..
    Trust all is quiet in your corner of the world
    Stay safe

    1. Yes, I had that alert as well - took me a while to realize it was for real! I first heard about the drill on the Hamilton City Council webpage (I don't think it was advertised much and the Press never picked it up). We set our phone alarms to tell us when the drill would occur.
      All is VERY quiet here, not able to do much and just waiting for Level Three to end (and I don't understand why they never changed Christchurch!). Oh well :))

  4. It's encouraging that people take the preparations seriously.

    1. Well, some of us did. It is held every year but I think the majority of people never heard it was on, which is a big shame. We need to be ready, just in case.

  5. We have had a couple small earthquakes and they just happen so quickly!

  6. Wow!

    Certainly best, to be prepared.

    Shadows mutter,
    mist replies;
    darkness purrs
    as midnight sighs.
    ~Rusty Fischer

  7. The kiwi childhood earthquake training went into action here in Greece in 2019 whne we got a decent wobble near Piraeus. It was lunchtime and there was only me and one colleague in our office on the 7th floor. We were both under desks so fast we ended up laughing about it later. We raced downstairs smartly when the first shake ended and I was surprised how many people stood in the street btween tall buildings. I headed for the port, well away from anything likely to fall on me. Tsunami didn't occur to me that day. We all got sent home until civil defence had inspected and cleared any damaged buildings.

    1. That must have been scary. Glad you were safe. I have a friend who went through the 2011 Christchurch earthquake and she is reasonably certain that being under her desk saved her from serious injury if not her life. You and your colleague did the right thing :)

  8. Not many earthquakes here in Minnesota! But it is always good to have a plan!

  9. Earthquakes are always a source of lively discussion here in New Zealand! I grew up with stories about the Napier Quake (my family owned a large building in the centre of Hastings at that time) and the Wellington quake (two maiden aunts lived with tarpaulins over their damaged roof for a year) and of course we now all have Christchurch quake stories - some tragic, some funny. I try to be prepared and update the EQ kit occasionally, usually after a scare! A quake during Covid would be horrendous!

    1. It would be horrendous. Certainly hope that doesn't happen.

  10. My fear would be how to get under any piece of furniture quickly. I'm not what you'd call agile. And getting up from the floor afterwards would be a problem.


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