Hon Nikki Kaye - Minister of Civil Defence
10 June 2015
Earthquake preparedness advice updated
The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (MCDEM) has today published updated advice about how to prepare for earthquakes, says Civil Defence Minister Nikki Kaye.
“The updated advice clarifies what to do before, during and after the shaking stops, and is set out in the earthquake chapter of the reference guide that provides agreed messages for all agencies involved in civil defence emergency management,” says Ms Kaye.
“Although it’s relevant to everyone, the updated advice will be of particular interest to building owners, workplace safety wardens and staff responsible for emergency plans.
“The updated messages are based on lessons identified following recent earthquakes, as well as increased scientific knowledge in this area.
“Drop, cover and hold is reinforced as the right action to take in an earthquake. It’s also important to stay indoors until the shaking stops, and you’re sure it’s safe to exit.
“Often people’s instinctive reaction is to run from the building. However, research shows that people moving as little as three metres during an earthquake are more likely to be injured by flying furniture, fixtures or debris.
“Another important message is that a fire evacuation assembly point might not be appropriate after an earthquake, because of the risk of falling debris. So you need to have a specific assembly point for earthquakes.”
Ms Kaye says MCDEM will also be updating other chapters of the reference guide.