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Emergency alerts; is your phone ready?


Preparation: Glen Varcoe from Fire and Emergency New Zealand, Dean Clifford from NZ Police and Ian Macdonald from Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence check out the potential broadcast areas for the new Emergency Mobile Alerts.


The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management (CDEM) is leading the implementation of the new national emergency mobile alerts system, with a live nationwide test of Emergency Alerts planned for 26 November.

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Manager Ian Macdonald says the alerts are sent using cell broadcast technology, so there is no need to sign up to a text alert or download an app.

“It’s expected that currently around a third of phones In New Zealand will be able to receive the alerts, and I would encourage people to visit to check whether their phone is compatible,” says Mr Macdonald. All new phones will be able to receive the alerts.

The alerts can be targeted to affected areas, so you will only get them if the emergency is in your area.

Mr Macdonald says the emergency mobile alerts are another tool to help keep New Zealand safe in an emergency and compliment other alerting systems and information channels, and the public need to continue to take action after natural warnings.

“For example, in a distant or regional tsunami there may be time to send an alert. For local source tsunami,

there may not be time to send an alert or give a warning so it is important to recognise the natural warnings. In an earthquake that is ‘Long Strong, Get Gone’ – don’t wait for an official warning.”

The alert messages can only be sent by the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management, regional Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups, NZ Police, Fire and Emergency New Zealand, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry for Primary Industries.

For more information on getting ready to get thru a civil defence emergency see or go to Hawke’s Bay Emergency on Facebook or Twitter.

21 November 2017

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