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Public Alerting: Options Assessment

Information for the CDEM Sector [IS 10/09]

New Zealand is exposed to a wide range of hazards. Since we are able to monitor, analyse, and anticipate many types of hazard events, the Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) and science communities carry a joint responsibility for providing effective public warnings and alerts as part of a comprehensive approach to managing our risks.

This Information Series document aims to provide agencies responsible for warnings with information that can support them with:

  • Considerations when planning or reviewing warning systems
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of public alerting mechanisms currently used as part of warning systems
  • Considering the effectiveness and advantages of one public alerting mechanism against another
  • Deciding on the most appropriate public alerting mechanism (or suite of mechanisms) in relation to their budget and target areas’ unique features like hazards and demographics.

The document is based on studies conducted by GNS Science and the New Zealand Centre for Advanced Engineering, commissioned by MCDEM under the Tsunami Risk Management Programme.

Public Alerting: Options Assessment [IS10/09] (.pdf 3mb)


Public alerting options: decision support tool

A decision support tool has been developed on a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to help decision makers evaluate and compare the cost vs. benefit and the effectiveness of different public alerting mechanisms against the demographical, geographical and hazard characteristics of a particular area. The tool can separately evaluate high and low density population areas because the cost per capita changes with density for some mechanisms. The input is in dollars and staff effort (i.e. ‘cost’) and effectiveness (i.e. ‘benefit’) that can be adjusted for local circumstances.

The user guide for this tool is included in the Information Series document above (IS10/09).

Download the decision support tool (xls 300kB)

Note: When opening this file, you must click 'enable macros' when prompted


Public alerting seminars

Several regional seminars were held during April/May 2009 to introduce and discuss the public alerting studies conducted by GNS Science and the New Zealand Centre for Advanced Engineering (CAENZ),

Download the GNS report (.pdf 1.5mb)

Download the CAENZ report (.pdf 2mb)