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9:26 26/9 - Operation Shakeout
Monday, 24 September 2012
At 9.26 am this Wednesday, Waimakariri District Council staff will be joining over one million other New Zealanders in a Civil Defence earthquake safety awareness exercise.
‘Operation Shakeout’ has gained the agreement of over one million New Zealanders to take part in the ‘drop, cover and hold’ exercise. Government departments, businesses, Councils, shops, supermarkets, TV and radio stations and individuals across the country will participate.
The exercise is based on a similar promotion in California, which now has approximately eight million people joining in. New Zealand, however, will be the only time a whole country has been involved in the exercise.
“As New Zealanders, we all know that this country is susceptible to seismic activity”, says Council Civil Defence Emergency Management Advisor, Brennan Wiremu, “and the Canterbury earthquakes since 2010 have brought that very sharply into focus for people in this region. So, if we can help to make ‘drop, cover and hold’ an automatic, instant reaction in the event of an earthquake, we’ll be helping to prevent injury and possibly save lives”.
The process for those who decide to join in is simple – drop to your hands and knees, cover under a desk or sturdy furniture – if you can’t then use your arms to cover your head and neck, hold on to the furniture so that it does not move in a large earthquake.
For those who are outside at 9.26 am on Wednesday, move no more than a few steps away from buildings, trees, street lights and power lines, then drop cover and hold. If you’re driving, pull over to a clear location, stop and stay there with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking stops. Once the shaking does stop drive with extreme caution avoiding bridges or ramps that may have been damaged.
Depending on the nationwide success of Operation Shakeout on Wednesday, there are plans to make it an annual event.
Civil Defence Emergency Management Officer
Phone: (03) 311 8900 or (03) 327 6834
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