Published Thursday 27 Oct 2022

It was ‘Drop, Cover, and Hold’ for many of our teams across the District this morning who joined in on the nationwide emergency earthquake drill ShakeOut!

ShakeOut takes place across the world to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake.

Here at Te Whatu Ora, Capital, Coast and Hutt Valley, we targeted several services across the Kenepuru, Wellington and Hutt campuses to participate in ‘Drop, Cover, Hold’ at 9.30am with the Emergency Management team in attendance.

We also had displays on show across these sites as well as the Kapiti campus.

The ShakeOut drill was followed by a debriefing and to raise any questions people had.  

Emergency Management Service Development Manager Amy May shared how her team deals with such situations such as an actual earthquake or natural disaster.

“Emergency Management uses the ‘Four Rs’ approach,” she said.

Reduction – Ongoing proactive work to reduce risks and increase resilience against natural disasters i.e. ensuring seven days resource resilience (food, linen, emergency water, fuel for generators etc.) across all of our sites.

Readiness – We ensure staff are prepared for a potential natural disaster through on-going training, exercises, and ensuring staff know what resources are available to them and where these are i.e., Emergency Water.

We also work with both internal and external stakeholders to ensure our response procedures are robust within the hospital as well as ensuring a coordinated approach to disaster management across our region (and throughout the country).

Response – Our Yellow folders in place at Capital, Coast (and on the way in Hutt Valley) provide instructions for staff on procedures to implement post-earthquake.

For any large natural disaster we will also activate our Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) where a response team will coordinate our response to the earthquake i.e. patient flow, damage assessment, logistics and supply.

Recovery – Following a natural disaster, we need to ensure our hospital and its staff can get back to BAU as soon as possible.

We provide ongoing support, ensure debriefs about our response are held – and any lessons learnt are recorded and actioned where required.

We know how important it is to be ready for such an emergency, especially in a hospital environment. So we encourage everyone to practice these drills so that when an earthquake strikes, ‘Drop, Cover, Hold’, is an instinctual action.

There were 699,510 participants registered nationwide for Shakeout 2022.