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Before, during and after an earthquake

Getting ready before an earthquake strikes,  will help you survive. Find out how to prepare:

EQC website

Get Thru website

GEONet website

Civil Defence website

Wellington City Council

During an earthquake

  • Act quickly—DROP to the ground, get under COVER and HOLD until the shaking stops

  • If inside, take cover under a sturdy desk or table until shaking stops. Don’t run outside – falling debris can cause major injuries

  • If there is no cover, crouch on your knees on the floor away from windows. put your arms over your head and neck to protect them. If possible keep away from windows/glass and other objects that could fall on you

  • If you cannot get to the floor, cover your head and neck as best you can

  • If outside, quickly get to an open area.  Drop to your knees, bend head to ground and cover with arms until shaking stops.

  • Lock your wheels if you are in a wheelchair

  • If driving, pull over and stop until the shaking stops


After an earthquake  – Expect to feel aftershocks

  • The earthquake is the signal to evacuate - do not expect to hear evacuation alarms

  • Stay inside, gather everyone in one place until it is safe to exit

  • Follow your warden and/or Emergency Response Team’s instructions

  • If you are in a multi-storey building, check the stairs before making your way to lower floors

  • If you are unable to descend the stairs due to an impairment, find a safe spot near the stairwell and alert someone that you need help

  • If you are in the stairwells, use emergency door release buttons to exit

  • If you are uncertain about whether or not to evacuate, you will be told by an ERT member of the appropriate action

  • However, if you are feeling uncomfortable about staying regardless of the ERT advice, then certainly leave till you feel comfortable to  return

  • If your building is unsafe, evacuate and take your belongings. Beware of falling debris as you exit and make your way to the main staff car park assembly area. Avoid walking close to any building

  • Wait for emergency wardens to check you off the roll before leaving the area or returning home. If the car park is not accessible, assemble in an open area away from hazards

Once you have evacuated

  • ERT will assess regional transportation viability and report the situation beyond the school’s gates to those assembled

  • Conduct a check to account for staff, students, visitors and contractors

  • Give assistance to people in distress. Remove/rescue any person from immediate danger if safe to do so

  • Treat any injuries – administer first aid

  • Turn off electricity, gas and water in immediate area if practicable and safe to do so

  • Check for fires and extinguish if safe to do so

  • Listen to the radio or TV for information and advice