Make time the week of 6th-12th of March 2023 to practice your Tsunami evacuation hīkoi!
All of New Zealand is at risk of earthquakes and tsunami but there is one simple thing we can all do to make sure we are prepared. Practice your drop, cover and hold and tsunami hīkoi – your evacuation walk - to high ground or inland, by foot or bike.
Tsunami Hīkoi week coincides with the anniversary of the devastating Japan 2011 earthquake and tsunami. It is difficult to imagine that something similar could happen here, in Aotearoa New Zealand. But, we know it will.
We know that practicing your tsunami hīkoi works. It helped save the lives of more than 95% of people who safely evacuated, after they felt a long or strong earthquake in the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami.
For people living in a tsunami zone, we recommended practicing with your family. That way you'll all know where to go and where you could meet if there is tsunami.
It is also a reminder for those who live outside the zones to think about when they might be in the zones (during their commute, taking the dogs for a walk), and how to evacuate if there is a tsunami.
If you live outside the zones you can be a safe place for friends and family who have to evacuate.
We are encouraging schools or early learning services based in a tsunami zone to practice evacuating their tsunami zones to their nearest safe location. You can make your practice during annual Tsunami Hīkoi Week, or the National Earthquake Drill - Shakeout but if you can't practice at those times, find another time during the year and make it an annual practice, just like a fire drill.
Practicing is a good opportunity to remind parents and caregivers of where they should meet their children if a tsunami evacuation occurs (reminding them to meet at the school's offsite evacuation point and not to go into the tsunami evacuation zones).
If your school or centre is not in an evacuation zone, are you able to help a nearby school or centre in the zones by being the place they evacuate to?
We are encouraging all organisations with facilities in evacuation zones to practice their tsunami evacuation walks during Tsunami Week or the National Earthquake Drill - Shakeout but if you can't practice at those times, find another time during the year and make it an annual practice, just like a fire drill . We recommended doing it during lunchtime.
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