Are you prepared for an earthquake?

Are you prepared for an earthquake? Check out these interviews with residents from Canterbury and some of the stories and important messages they have to share.

The Queenstown Lakes District is prone to Earthquakes - what can you expect?

The Alpine Fault line runs nearby and there is a history of land instability in the area.  Many earthquakes are not felt because they are either very small or are very deep in the earth.  But a large, damaging earthquake could occur at anytime – follow these simple steps to be prepared:


Before an earthquake

  • Plan!  Prepare a household emergency plan and emergency survival kit so that you can cope on your own for three days or more.
  • Identify safe places in your home, school or workplace.  For example, somewhere close to you, under a strong table, next to an interior wall.
  • Check your household insurance policy is up to date.
  • Get advice to make sure your house is secured to its foundations and that any renovations comply with the NZ Building Code. 
  • Secure heavy or precious items to the floor or wall.


During an earthquake

  • Inside a building?  Move no more than a few steps, drop, cover and hold.
  • Outside? Move no more than a few steps, drop, cover and hold.
  • Driving?  Always pull over and stop.
  • At the beach or near the coast?  Drop, cover and hold.  Then move to higher ground immediately in case a Tsunami follows the earthquake.

Drop, cover and hold during an earthquake

After an earthquake

  • Expect aftershocks – they will happen.
  • Help – assist those around you if you can.
  • If you’re inside a damaged building – try to get outside if you can – find a safe open place.
  • Do not go sightseeing! 
  • Can you smell gas?  Turn off the gas main outside the building – but only if it is safe to do so.
  • Can you see sparks or broken wires?  Turn off the electricity at the main fuse box – but only if it is safe to do so.
  • Is your property damaged? Take notes and photographs for insurance purposes.
  • Listen to the radio or use this website for information an advice.