Upcoming nationwide test for Emergency Mobile Alert

By Tepara Koti

Cellphone users are to be wary this Sunday 26 November during a nationwide test of the new Emergency Mobile Alert (EMA).

The alerts are messages about emergencies sent by authorised emergency agencies to mobile phones enabled to receive EMAs.


The alerts can also be targeted to areas affected by serious hazards. Civil Defence explains there are no apps to download nor services to subscribe to.  Rather if your phone is on, capable and inside the targeted area, you should get the alerts.

Civil Defence says the EMAs is about keeping you safe therefore people won't be able to opt-out of receiving it.  

They also say the alert is not a replacement for other emergency alerts, and if you feel that your life is in danger to not wait for an official warning - "Take immediate action".

Emergency Mobile Alert is due to be available by the end of 2017.  However, Civil Defence says not all mobile phones will be able to get the Emergency Mobile Alerts at first.

One-third of all phones across Aotearoa are expected to initially receive the alert.  This number will rise as people replace their phones with newer models.

People should expect an alert to appear this Sunday between 6pm and 7pm on your phone's screen with a unique, penetrating warning sound.