Good job! – You've made the first step to stay safe during and after an emergency.

The Wellington Region is an awesome place to live, but it's a little wild. We often experience earthquakes, storms, flooding and landslides. We're also at risk from tsunamis. Read more about our hazards (

Earthquake planning guide

When disaster strikes, your life can become up-ended very quickly:

  • Your safety is an issue as well as the comforts you take for granted every day. 
  • It would be hard to travel, communicate with loved ones and get access to the essential supplies, such as food and water.

For example, if there is no functioning wastewater system, you could find yourself sharing a portaloo with 37 of your neighbours each morning! Taking some simple steps to prepare now will put you in a position where you might not have to do that.

Looking for our Earthquake Planning Guide? View and download PDFs of our Earthquake Planning Guide (available in 17 different languages)

START HERE - follow these steps to get your household better prepared for an emergency 

We've outlined the things you can do to prepare to get through an emergency as safely and as comfortably as possible.


Step 1. Get emergency information and alerts

Find out where to go for information in an emergency and about alerts to your mobile phone. 

If you feel your life is in danger, don't wait for an official warning. Take immediate action.

Read more about information in an emergency

mobile alerts

Step 2. Stay safe in an earthquake

Most injuries during earthquakes are caused by furniture and building fittings around you rather than collapsing buildings.

You reduce your chance of injury if you DROP, COVER and HOLD during an earthquake. 

Practise your DROP, COVER and HOLD earthquake drill.

Read more about how to stay safe in an earthquake 

Drop cover hold

Step 3. Stay safe from a tsunami

Find out if the places you live, work, or play, are in a tsunami evacuation zone and work out the best routes to get far enough inland, uphill or (if you don't have time to evacuate) to the fifth floor or higher.

Read about how to stay safe during a tsunami

Tsunami zone

Step 4. Create an emergency plan for your household

In an emergency, such as an earthquake, you might not be able to use your phone to call or access the internet. Make an emergency plan for what to do and where to go if you can't communicate.

Read about what to include in your household emergency plan

Emergency plan

Step 5. Have an emergency grab bag

A grab bag (or getaway kit) is a small backpack of essential items to grab if you have to quickly evacuate your home or workplace with little or no warning. It's especially important if you will have to walk a long way to get home during an emergency. 

Read about emergency grab bags

Grab bag

Step 6. Make your home safer 

There are ways to make your property more resilient to earthquakes. If you are unable to do this yourself, get someone to help you.

Read our checklist as a starter to make your home safer in an earthquake

make your home safer

Step 7. Store emergency water

What would you do if drinking water stopped coming out of the tap? 

We recommend storing enough emergency water for everyone in your household for at least seven days.

You may need to store more if you have unwell people or small children in your family. Don't forget your pets.

Find out about storing emergency water

Emergency Water

Step 8. Make an emergency toilet

After a large earthquake - don't flush! After a disaster, you may not be able to use your normal toilet if waste pipes are broken or damaged.

It's easy to make an emergency toilet.

Read about how to make an emergency toilet at home

emergency toilets

9. Meet your neighbours

Research shows that communities that recovery best from disasters are those that have good social networks. Introduce yourself to your neighbours and swap contact details in case of emergency.

Read about connecting with your neighbours before an emergency

Meet your neighbours image

10. Emergency supplies

Your house is already full of emergency items disguised as everyday things! By making sure you and your household are able to look after yourself for the first 7 days, you'll be helping emergency services focus their limited resources on the people who need it most. 

 Read about the supplies you might need in an emergency 

Emergency supplies

11. Find your nearest Community Emergency Hub

As we saw in the Canterbury earthquakes, communities rallied together to help one another out. After you have checked on your household and neighbours, you and your family can go to your local Community Emergency Hub to help out or find out information.  

Find your nearest Community Emergency Hub

Hub sign

Hazards in the Wellington Region 

Read more about earthquakes, tsunamis and other potential hazards in the Wellington Region (

Earthquake Planning Guide (view and download PDFs)

Earthquake Preparedness Guide

Earthquake Preparedness Guide (PDF, 1.4 MB)

Print this out and get prepared now

Earthquake Planning Guide Te Reo

Earthquake Planning Guide Te Reo (PDF, 1 MB)

Tō aratohu whakamahere mō te ruwhenua

Translated Resources

WREMO partnered with New Zealand Red Cross to translate our 'Earthquake Planning Guide into 15 languages.

View and download the translations of the Earthquake Planning Guide

Further translated resources are available from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

Download translated facts sheets on what to do in an earthquake and tsunami (

Audio Guide

For the visually impaired, the Earthquake Planning Guide is also available as an audio file:

If you have any questions, please contact us.

Attend a household earthquake planning sessionFind out more at a Household Earthquake Planning session

Attend a free one-hour session to get tips on how you, your household and whānau can stay safe and get through.

The session covers:

  • What could happen your area in an earthquake
  • How to stay safe
  • Key points for your emergency plan
  • Essential emergency supplies
  • How neighbours can help each other

Attend a Household Earthquake Planning session 


Go to Step 1: Get emergency information and alerts

The Wellington Region Emergency Management Office (WREMO) will only send alerts when there is a threat to life or significant disruption that could affect all or part of the Wellington Region.

Go to Step 1 to find out where to get information and mobile alerts in an emergency