Emergency Mobile Alert coming soon

MEDIA RELEASE: 24 November 2017

A nationwide test of the Emergency Mobile Alert system is happening on Sunday 26 November (between 6pm and 7pm).
The Government is about to launch a new service to help keep people informed in an emergency, led by the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (MCDEM).

MCDEM is partnering with other authorised agencies – Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Groups, New Zealand Police, Ministry for Primary Industries, Ministry of Health, and Fire and Emergency New Zealand – to use Emergency Mobile Alert (EMA) to alert people if their lives, property or health are at serious risk.

This is an exciting development towards strengthening emergency alerting systems across New Zealand. Neville Reilly, Regional Civil Defence Group Controller, said, “We in Canterbury wholeheartedly welcome the rollout of Emergency Mobile Alert. The emergencies we’ve been through as a region in recent years have taught us that information is key, so having an additional way for the public to receive information is extremely positive.”

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 – the alerts will be sent to every enabled phone in the region. Check if your phone is capable of receiving the alerts here.

It’s important to remember that EMA doesn’t replace existing channels and natural warnings. EMA is an additional channel for warning people when there is a serious risk. Existing channels will still be used, including social media, MCDEM and CDEM Group websites, TV, radio and tsunami sirens.

What you can do

Find out if your phone can receive the alerts here. If your phone is turned on, is capable of receiving the alerts, and you are in the targeted area, then you should receive an alert if it is sent out.

If you would like more information on EMA, check out MCDEM's Emergency Mobile Alert page.

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