New Zealand ShakeOut 2018: tabulated results of a school survey

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Lambie ES, Becker JS, Coomer MA. 2019. New Zealand ShakeOut 2018: tabulated results of a school survey. Lower Hutt (NZ): GNS Science. 78 p. (GNS Science report; 2019/62). doi:10.21420/NSPF-YK57.

The New Zealand-wide ShakeOut earthquake drills are part of the National CDEM (Civil Defence Emergency Management) Exercise Programme organised and promoted by the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (MCDEM). Individuals and groups are encouraged to sign up to ShakeOut online at ( and, on a selected date, practice appropriate actions in response to a potential earthquake (i.e., ‘Drop, Cover and Hold’). Participants are also encouraged to undertake other emergency response planning and exercising, such as a tsunami hīkoi/walk (for participants located in a tsunami evacuation zone), to check/update response plans, and to talk about what was learned through participation in the programme. The most recent New Zealand ShakeOut took place on 18 October 2018 at 9:30 a.m. ShakeOut was first trialled in New Zealand as a regional exercise on the West Coast of the South Island in 2009 (Coomer et al. 2009, Orchiston et al. 2013). The 2018 ShakeOut was the third National ShakeOut drill held in New Zealand since it was developed into a nation-wide drill in 2012. In 2018, MCDEM’s promotion of the drill was focused on teacher, principal and school resources with a small-scale New Zealand ShakeOut Schools Challenge introduced in addition to promotion of practicing the ‘Drop, Cover and Hold’ protective action and preparedness activities. Additionally, in 2018 MCDEM announced that the nation-wide drill will become an annual event. The Schools Challenge was launched and coordinated using online channels and social media. MCDEM developed eight challenges and a range of teaching and take-home resources to ensure children learnt about preparedness, earthquakes and tsunami, and shared what they learnt with their whānau/families and wider communities. A follow-up school survey was sent to all schools that participated in the 2018 New Zealand ShakeOut to evaluate the effectiveness of the ShakeOut drill in engaging schools around earthquake preparedness and appropriate protective actions. The survey also included specific questions for schools which opted to participate in the Schools Challenge, to reveal the usefulness of this new initiative and to gain feedback for future iterations. This report presents the tabulated results of 462 follow-up school survey responses. It was found that reasons for schools participating in the Schools Challenge included the perceived value of involving the wider community in ShakeOut related activities, and opportunities for students to share knowledge. Some reasons given for not participating included lack of available of time, and concern that students were still coping with stress from the Kaikōura earthquake. (auth)