21 November 2018

Apps, alerts and some fixed sirens will be tested this weekend, as Bay of Plenty Emergency Management carries out their second alerting test of the year.

Director Clinton Naude said the focus for Sunday evening’s test is making sure that the systems and processes in place behind the scenes are all working as they should.

“Importantly, it also provides a valuable opportunity for the public to make sure they’re ready should an emergency occur,” he said.

“If you have a smartphone and haven’t already downloaded the Red Cross Hazard App and set it up, I strongly recommend you do. The app is free, and there are instructions about how to set it up so it works for you on the Red Cross website – it’s an incredibly useful tool for keeping informed.”

The app can be set up to monitor different locations and hazard types, and users only get alerts for the locations they are monitoring.

“This is a great feature if you have family living in a different part of the country,” Mr Naude said. “You can set it up to get alerts for the Bay of Plenty, and if you have family living in Canterbury you can also keep an eye on what is happening there.”

This weekend’s test will occur around the same time as the Ministry for Civil Defence and Emergency Management (MCDEM) tests its Emergency Mobile Alerts.

“Emergency Mobile Alerts are another great tool that Civil Defence can use to keep the community informed in case of emergency, and the test of this system will be managed by MCDEM staff.”

Also being tested this weekend will be fixed sirens in the eastern Bay of Plenty (Whakatāne, Ōhope and Ōpōtiki), vehicle mounted sirens in Tanners Point, and text alerts. The test will occur on Sunday evening.