Emergency Mobile Alert
The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (MCDEM) is leading the implementation of a new nationwide emergency alert channel.
A nationwide test of Emergency Mobile Alert is happening on 26 November 2017 between 6 and 7pm.
The Emergency Mobile Alert should appear automatically on your phone’s screen with a unique and penetrating warning sound. As Emergency Mobile Alert is about keeping you safe, you won’t be able to opt-out of receiving Emergency Mobile Alert.
It is expected around one third of phones will initially be able to receive the alerts. This number is expected to rise substantially over time as people replace their phones with newer models.
What are Emergency Mobile Alerts?
Emergency Mobile Alerts are messages about emergencies sent by authorised emergency agencies to mobile phones enabled to receive Emergency Mobile Alerts. They can be targeted to areas affected by serious hazards.
If your phone is on, capable and inside the targeted area, you should get the alerts. You don’t have to download an app or subscribe to a service, just ensure your phone is capable and updated.
Emergency Mobile Alert is an additional channel to help keep people safe if there is an emergency. It does not replace other emergency alerts. If you feel your life is in danger, don’t wait for an official warning. Take immediate action.
What does Emergency Mobile Alert look and sound like?
The look of emergency alerts will depend on the make and model of your phone. However, the alerts will have common characteristics. Emergency Mobile Alerts will tell you the situation, what to do, the time, the agency sending the alert, and if needed, where to go for more information.
The alert should appear automatically on your phone’s screen with a unique and penetrating warning sound.
How does Emergency Mobile Alert work?
Emergency Mobile Alert uses a dedicated signal, so it’s not affected by network congestion. This can make Emergency Mobile Alert more reliable in an emergency when mobile phone traffic or people accessing websites could overload the network.
The alert will be broadcast to areas affected by serious hazards for a set period of time. Any capable phone entering this area during the broadcast period will receive the alert.
It is expected around one third of phones will initially be able to receive the alerts. This number is expected to rise substantially over time as people replace their phones with newer models. Emergency Mobile Alert capable phones should work on all mobile networks in New Zealand.
Can I opt out of getting 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.
When will Emergency Mobile Alert be available?
Emergency Mobile Alert is due to be available by the end of 2017. However, not all mobile phones will be able to get the Emergency Mobile Alerts at first.
Please check your phone is able to receive the alerts and ensure your phone is on the most up to date operating system.
What should I do if I receive an Emergency Mobile Alert?
Read the message and take it seriously. It will tell you what the emergency is, what to do, which agency sent the message, and if needed, where to go for more information.
You’ll get updates, if they’re needed, and be told when the threat is over. You won’t get the same message twice.
Emergency Mobile Alert does not replace other emergency alerts!
Emergency Mobile Alert is an additional channel to help keep New Zealand safe in an emergency and does 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 to go to for help and who you might need to look out for.
Read our FAQs to find more information about Emergency Mobile Alert.