New Zealand ShakeOut 2018 Observation Evaluation Report: a summary of high-level findings

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Lambie E, Becker JS, Coomer MA. 2019. New Zealand ShakeOut 2018 Observation Evaluation Report: a summary of high-level findings. Lower Hutt (NZ): GNS Science. 25 p. (GNS Science report; 2019/09). doi:10.21420/XM8F-5E11.

The New Zealand ShakeOut 2018, organised by the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management (MCDEM), was the latest national earthquake drill to be held in New Zealand. Over 870,000 participants registered to participate in the drill via the ShakeOut website. The drill was held on 18 October 2018 at 9:30 a.m., and participants were encouraged to practice ‘Drop, Cover and Hold’ in response to a potential earthquake. In addition to the drill, other activities were promoted, such as, emergency response planning and exercising, school competitions, and tsunami hīkoi (tsunami evacuation walks) for participants in coastal areas. The 2018 ShakeOut was heavily focused towards school participation and introduced a two-week Challenge following the ShakeOut exercise. The School Challenge aimed to support primary and intermediate students to be active in their community preparedness for future earthquakes and tsunami. An evaluation was undertaken to determine the effectiveness of the ShakeOut drill in engaging people about what to do during an earthquake and to understand what additional activities people undertook during this exercise. One of the streams of research within this evaluation was having volunteer observers take notes about how people across New Zealand participated in the drill. More than 500 observer surveys were completed and collected following the drill. Another of the evaluation streams involved school surveys (completed by teachers, management etc.) about their participation in ShakeOut and the School Challenge. This report provides a high-level summary of the findings of the observer survey. There was a high level of participation in ShakeOut, especially by workplaces (44%), suggesting that workplaces provide an important outlet for public education activities regarding earthquakes and disasters in general. Analysis of both the 2012 and 2015 observer surveys also found workplaces to have the highest participation rate. Over 77% of people were seen to actively participate in the actions of ‘Drop, Cover Hold’. Of those who didn’t participate, disability and age/fragility (too young and too old or injury) were reported to have been factors preventing them successfully performing the Drop, Cover and Hold action. In terms of regional involvement, Auckland had the largest proportion of observer forms returned, followed by Wellington, Canterbury and Waikato. This regional trend was also reported in a comparison study of the 2012 and 2015 observer forms. (auth)