A nationwide earthquake drill next month will remind New Zealanders about the importance of preparing for a natural disaster, organisers say.
The New Zealand ShakeOut, organised by Civil Defence, will take place on September 26 at 9.26am.
Participants are meant to drop, cover and hold wherever they are, as they would in a quake.
ShakeOut co-ordinator Jo Guard said the drill, which was first held in Southern California, aimed to increase public awareness about earthquake risk.
Civil Defence had started to plan the New Zealand drill in early 2010, before the September 4 Canterbury quake.
"No matter where you are in New Zealand, you understand how devastating an earthquake can be.
"People understand that you do need to be prepared wherever you are." More than 870,000 people from businesses and schools had already registered to take part, with organisers hoping to get a million participants," Guard said.
More than 47,000 Cantabrians have registered, including participants from 86 schools, 78 preschools and 40 businesses.
For more information, visit shakeout.govt.nz.