New Zealand ShakeOut 2015: an evaluation based on observer surveys

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Becker, J.S.; Coomer, M.A.; McBride, S.K.; Lambie, E. 2016 New Zealand ShakeOut 2015 : an evaluation based on observer surveys. Lower Hutt, N.Z.: GNS Science. GNS Science report 2016/23. 94 p.; doi: 10.21420/G2J92X

Abstract: The 2015 New Zealand ShakeOut, organised by the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management (MCDEM), was the second national earthquake drill to be held in New Zealand. The drill was held on 15 October 2015 at 9:15 a.m., and 1.36 million participants took part in the drill. Participants were asked to ‘Drop, Cover and Hold’ in response to a potential earthquake. Along with the drill, other preparedness activities such as creating an emergency plan, preparing a survival kit, and practising evacuations were promoted as part of the ShakeOut. Volunteers were asked to observe the drill and to fill in a MCDEM observers form about how people participated. More than 3000 observer forms were analysed to provide information on the effectiveness of the ShakeOut exercise in educating people about what to do during an earthquake. In 2012, similar research was conducted during the 2012 ShakeOut drill (McBride et al., 2014). With data from both ShakeOut drills, trends can be identified longitudinally. This report provides a summary of the findings of the observer forms and includes tables with comparisons to the 2012 ShakeOut drill findings. In both the 2012, and the 2015 ShakeOut drills it was found that workplaces had the highest level of participation in the exercise, and that places of education such as schools and tertiary institutes were the next highest group of participants. In terms of regional participation, Auckland had the largest proportion of observer forms returned, followed by Wellington. Canterbury and Waikato also returned good numbers of observer sheets. Communication channels, like social media, email and websites, showed some growth regarding their use, while traditional media and face-to-face communication decreased overall. Over half of the 2015 observers reported participating in the 2012 ShakeOut drill, and over 75% reported that their organisation would be willing to participate in an annual ShakeOut exercise. (auth)