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Source: National Emergency Management Agency


Last night’s nationwide test of the Emergency Mobile Alert system was a success, giving confidence that the system will work whenever and wherever it is needed to keep people safe.

John Price, Director, National Emergency Management Agency says NEMA’s test of the system say the alert successfully transmitted to all parts of New Zealand with cell phone reception.


“Our 2022 survey showed nine out of ten people received an alert or had been with someone who had. Given this year’s transmission was successful, we can safely estimate between 5 and 6 million phones received the alert.


“This means people can trust that the system will work whenever and wherever it is needed to keep people across Aotearoa safe in an emergency.

“We’re really keen to know if you received the test alert and provide your feedback here

This will help us to better understand how these alerts are experienced and further strengthen the alert system.


Mr Price says after five nationwide tests, and over 130 alerts issued through the system, Emergency Mobile Alert has shown itself to be an extremely reliable channel for pushing emergency messages to people in New Zealand when there is a severe threat to life, health or property.


“It’s important to remember that Emergency Mobile Alerts are not meant to replace other ways of staying informed, such as radio, TV, social media and online channels, or the need to take action after natural warnings. If you feel in danger, don’t wait for an official warning. Take immediate action. Remember – your safety is your responsibility.


“Later this year, we’ll be undertaking our independent Annual Disaster Preparedness survey. This survey will help us to better understand how many people received the alert.


“If you did not receive an alert there are several reasons why this may have happened. And because of this, we encourage you to rely on several different ways to stay informed. For help with troubleshooting visit theEmergency Mobile Alert FAQs on NEMA’s Get Ready website. 


Variability in how phones pick up the alerts


Mr Price says while the system itself is reliable, people will have a range of experiences due to the variability of how different devices receive the alerts.


“For example, we’ve received several comments around the alert sound not overriding silent mode on some phones, and people not being able to find the alert message after dismissing the sound.


“Unfortunately, these are both quirks of your phones operating system, to do with the phones manufacturer and not something we can control.


“Good news is, if you have dismissed the alert, it may still be viewable on your phone.”


For Android phones:

Although each Android phone is different, emergency alerts are generally found in your ‘Messages’ app. For example: 
Go to Messages app

Find the menu (…) and select ‘settings’.

Select ‘Emergency alert history’.


For Apple phones: 

The alert will be in your notifications. Access your notifications by swiping down from the top of your screen. If you delete your notifications, you will also delete the alert.


John Price expressed his gratitude to people throughout New Zealand for being part of the test that helps to keep us all safe. For more information on Emergency Mobile Alert visit