The EMA is one of the ways you will be warned about a significant risk to life or property. This Sunday the system is being tested across all of Aotearoa New Zealand at some time between 6 and 7 pm.
If your life, health or property is in serious danger, an Emergency Mobile Alert could be sent to your mobile phone.
The alerts are sent using cell broadcast technology, so there is no need to sign up or download an app.
They can also be targeted to affected areas, so you will only get them if the emergency is in your area.
Emergency Mobile Alert messages can only be sent by the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management, Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups, NZ Police, Fire and Emergency New Zealand, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry for Primary Industries.
If your phone is on, capable of receiving them and inside the targeted area, you should get the alerts.
You can find out whether your phone can receive the alerts at civildefence.govt.nz.
Emergency Mobile Alert messages do not replace other emergency alerts. They are an additional way of warning you, along with other channels.
Take immediate action. Not all phones are capable of receiving the alerts, so if you receive an alert, let others know.
If you feel your life is in danger, don’t wait for an official warning.
How does Emergency Mobile Alert work?
Emergency Mobile Alerts use a dedicated signal, so they are more reliable in an emergency when mobile phone and internet traffic could overload the network.
It doesn’t matter which network you are on. Any capable phone entering the area during the broadcast period will receive the alert.
Can I opt out of receiving Emergency Mobile Alerts?
As Emergency Mobile Alert is about keeping you safe, you won’t be able to opt-out of receiving Emergency Mobile Alert. Your phone may show optional settings used in other countries, but in New Zealand we will use a special broadcast channel that is permanently on.
What should I do if I receive an Emergency Mobile Alert?
Stop what you’re doing and follow the instructions. Emergency Mobile Alert messages are only sent by authorised emergency agencies, and only if there is serious threat to life, health or property (and one or two tests per year), so if you receive an alert take it seriously and do what it says.
Emergency Mobile Alert does not replace other channels Emergency Mobile Alert is another channel used for keeping you safe if there is an emergency.
Other channels, such as radio, TV, websites and social media will still be used. The alerts do not replace other alerting systems, or the need to take action after natural warnings.
You should still be prepared for an emergency, and you shouldn’t wait to get an alert before you act. If you feel your life is in danger, don’t wait for an official warning. Take immediate action.
Take the time to make your own emergency plan which includes what to do, where to go, who can help you and who might need your help. Find out more about Emergency Mobile Alerts at civildefence.govt.nz.