It started back in March. The goal was clearly defined. Get 1,000,000 Kiwis to participate in one, nationwide earthquake drill to be held on 26 September at 9:26 am, (9:26-26-9).
Yesterday, they hit that 1,000,000 mark and participants continue to sign up.
The New Zealand ShakeOut was created to help people and organisations get better prepared for major earthquakes. Participants are being asked to “Drop, Cover, Hold” during the earthquake drill. But that’s not the only way to participate. The New Zealand ShakeOut website has many options for participating. Individuals and organisations will find customised ideas about ways to get involved in the drill.
This is not the first time a ShakeOut has been done. The first ShakeOut was held in 2008 in California. 5.4 million people participated in that drill. Since then, there have been ShakeOuts held in several US states and territories as well as Canada, Italy and Japan
Out of all the planned ShakeOuts for this year, The New Zealand ShakeOut is the second largest. It is also the first nationwide ShakeOut.
The New Zealand Shakeout is also a good time to think about disaster preparedness in general. The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management has a program called “Get Ready, Get Thru”. The website presents a great deal of information and resources that will help you get ready for other disasters like tsunamis and volcanic eruptions.
If you want to sign up for the New Zealand ShakeOut, there is still time. Just go to their website at http://www.shakeout.govt.nz/register/index.php
By WeatherWatch.co.nz Analyst Howard Joseph