Civil Defence is reminding mobile phone users about a nationwide test which is taking place this weekend.
The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management, is leading the implementation of a new nationwide emergency alert channel which will be tested this Sunday.
Director of Emergency Management Bay of Plenty Clinton Naude says the new Emergency Mobile Alerts use a dedicated signal, which means they are more reliable in an emergency when mobile phone and internet traffic could overload the network.
Alerts are sent using cell broadcast technology.
“They can be targeted to affected areas, so you will only get them if the emergency is in your area.
“This means if your phone is on, capable of receiving them and inside the targeted area, you should get the alerts.
“In an emergency we make use of all available channels to alert people. That's because people get their information from different places and every channel has its advantages and disadvantages.
“For example not all phones are capable of receiving these alerts, not everyone is signed up to Facebook and not everyone listens to the radio. We will be using this new system in addition to our existing suite of alerting tools,” says Clinton.
Minister of Civil Defence Kris Faafoi says Emergency Mobile Alerts are an additional channel to help keep New Zealand safe in an emergency and do not replace other alerting systems, or the need to take action after natural warnings.
“If you feel your life is in danger, don't wait for an official warning. Take immediate action,” he says.
A live nationwide test is being held this Sunday to check the new system. You can find out whether your phone has the required update and can receive the alerts at civildefence.govt.nz.