Nationwide Emergency Mobile Alert test taking place this Sunday

Publish Date : 21 May 2024
EMA Date Post 2024

Don’t be alarmed if your mobile phone receives an Emergency Mobile Alert (EMA) on Sunday evening.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) is undertaking a nationwide test of the Emergency Mobile Alert system on Sunday 26 May between 6pm and 7pm.

This means mobile phones across Tāmaki Makaurau will be sounding the distinctive emergency tone early that evening.

Councillor Sharon Stewart, Chair of the Auckland Civil Defence Emergency Management Committee says the EMA alert test is a good time for Aucklanders to think about being prepared for an emergency.

“The nationwide EMA test is a great opportunity for Aucklanders to talk about how well your whanau, household or workplace is prepared for an emergency.
“This could include making an emergency plan with a meeting point or preparing a grab bag for yourself or your household.
“Check the AEM website for tips and content about how to prepare for an emergency.”

The alert will be broadcast to all capable phones across Aotearoa. It allows NEMA to evaluate the system, cell towers, and the ability for mobile phones to receive the alert.

Adam Maggs, Acting General Manager, Auckland Emergency Management says EMAs are one of several channels used by emergency management agencies.

“In an emergency event, an Emergency Mobile Alert will be broadcast to all capable mobile phones. News media and social media channels will be used to alert Aucklanders as well. You should also act on natural warning signs – if you feel your life is in danger, don’t wait for an official warning. Take immediate action.”

The test also helps New Zealanders to familiarise themselves with what an EMA looks and sounds like, and how their phone presents the message.

Recent examples of Auckland Emergency Management using the EMA tool includes multiple times in 2023 during the January floods and Cyclone Gabrielle. Other examples of when Aucklanders have received an EMA include during the 2019 SkyCity Convention Centre fire (from Fire and Emergency NZ) and messages from the government to announce various Covid-19 lockdown and alert level changes.

More information about the EMA test and what to expect can be found here:

About Emergency Mobile Alerts

  • Emergency Mobile Alerts, or EMAs, are cell broadcast messages. This means that when your mobile phone connects with a nearby cell tower, it receives the message.
  • It is not a text message and the agency sending the message does not have your mobile phone number.
  • EMAs can be sent to a defined geographic area, like a region, suburb or group of streets, which means only the people in that area receive the EMA.
  • You cannot opt out of getting EMAs.
  • Find out who can send EMAs, what they are used for and more about how they work visit the National Emergency Management Agency’s website.
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