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Drop, cover, hold


Students at Mangere Bridge School were among more than 850,000 New Zealanders who took part in the national ShakeOut drill on 18th October.

The annual exercise prepares people for an earthquake or tsunami and reminds them of the right action to take during these natural disasters.

Year 5 and 6 pupils in Room 11 were well-prepared. At the sound of the bell, the children dived under their desks, held onto table or chair legs, and covered their heads and necks with their arms. Then they called the ‘buddy roll’, checking in turn that each person was okay. 

After that, it was time to practice the tsunami hīkoi (evacuation), and head down to the netball courts where deputy principal Jan Bills congratulated the whole school on their quick and orderly response.

ShakeOut reinforced last term’s learning enquiry about how to understand and plan for any kind of disaster: floods, fire, earthquake, landslide, tsunami, storm or volcanic eruption.

Children worked hard to perfect their survivor skills and presented their findings to the whole community at Survivor Night on 26th September.

Some children built a shelter using only natural materials and a tarpaulin. Lily and Ella from Room 11 invented a game with different challenges, such as how to wash when there is no water. Jaeda learnt how to make a water filter out of a plastic bottle and cotton balls. Briar enjoyed making a model of a volcano with baking soda, red food colouring and vinegar, and videoing the results.

And the main message? “Everyone is a survivor. Even crossing the road, you have to know how to keep safe and survive,” Ella said.

Almost 232,000 individuals, households, organisations, businesses and schools in the Auckland area registered to take part in the ShakeOut drill. For more information on how you can prepare your family for a major disaster, and what to do afterwards, see www.whatstheplanstan.govt.nz 









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