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Emergency Mobile Alerts are coming soon

Published: 13 October 2017

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Stay up to date in an emergency.

Emergency Mobile Alerts are a new way you can receive information about emergencies on your mobile phone without needing to download an app or subscribe to a service.

These free alerts, which appear similar to a text message, will be available by the end of 2017.

Find out how to update your phone and check if your phone is capable to receive Emergency Mobile Alerts.

They will be used anywhere in New Zealand when life, well-being or property are in imminent, serious danger. It’s not just for tsunami warnings but will also be used in emergencies such as major public health issues or local police incidents.

How they work:

  1. An emergency happens (or is about to happen)
  2. An agency such as the Ministry of Civil Defence sets up an alert
  3. The alert is sent through the cell towers in the area affected by the emergency
  4. If your phone is switched on, Emergency Mobile Alerts has been enabled, and you are in an area to which an alert is being sent, it will receive an alert for free
  5. The alert will be similar to a text message, telling you about the situation and what you should do
  6. Follow up alerts with more information may be sent as the situation changes
  7. The emergency ends.

Some makes and models will not be able to receive the alerts if their software cannot be updated or they don’t have the technology needed.

A list of handsets able to receive the alerts can be found here.