The Government will soon be launching a new service to keep people informed in an emergency, led by the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (MCDEM).

Fire and Emergency New Zealand is partnering with MCDEM and other agencies including NZ Police, Ministry of Primary Industries and Ministry of Health to use the Emergency Mobile Alerts to alert people if their lives, property or health are at serious risk. 

The system uses cell broadcast technology to send messages to enabled phones, so alerts can be targeted to specific geographic locations. People won’t need to sign up to receive alerts, or download an app, alerts will be sent to every enabled phone in the region.

This is an exciting development towards strengthening our emergency alerting systems across New Zealand, and an opportunity for Fire and Emergency New Zealand to work closely with other emergency services agencies. But it doesn’t replace existing channels and natural warnings. It’s another channel for warning people when there is a serious risk. We will still use our existing channels, including social media, our website, TV and radio.

The Port Hills Review has been released and this mobile alert system will help us to communicate with residents in a particular area during a significant emergency event.

A multi-media advertising campaign will ensure New Zealanders know the system is coming and what to do when they receive an alert. We are on track to start using the system by the end of the year.

What you can do

Find out if your phone can receive the alerts at www.civildefence.govt.nz (external link) . If your phone is turned on, is capable of receiving the alerts and you are in the targeted area, then you should get an alert if it is sent out.

If you would like more information, check out www.civildefence.govt.nz/emergency-mobile-alerts (external link) or contact Gavin Travers, National Comcens & Medical Response Manager at Gavin.Travers@fireandemergency.nz

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