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Text Alerts Strike Chord In Taranaki

Taranaki Civil Defence Emergency Management Group media release

21 January 2008

Text Alerts Strike Chord In Taranaki

Taranaki people are obviously keen on the idea of getting text alerts about impending Civil Defence emergencies.

More than 1,200 have so far subscribed to a new service offering just that - and the region's Civil Defence authorities are delighted at such a huge response.

Promotion began only last week for the service, under which Civil Defence alerts will be sent to those who subscribe by texting OPTN TCD to 2678. The service is free to subscribers.

"Given the central role of texting in many people's day-to-day lives, this is an excellent addition to our communications toolbox for emergency events," says the Chairman of the Taranaki Civil Defence Emergency Management Group, Brian Jeffares.

"We're very pleased that we've already got over 1% of the region's population signed up, and given the way messages are forwarded, we're confident our messages would get out to many, many more."

The messages will most likely be short, advising people to listen to their radios or check the emergency management pages on the Taranaki Regional Council website, www.trc.govt.nz .

"This is an alert service. We won't be giving running commentaries by text on the progress of an emergency," says Mr Jeffares.

"But we will be using the service to let people know they need to take notice of and act upon the Civil Defence information on the radio or website.

"It also doesn't mean anyone can be relaxed about preparing for the prospect of an emergency. People still need heed those Get Ready, Get Thru messages and prepare now, not when the warning comes."

Subscribers will be sent test messages from time to time, reminding them about the service and reassuring them that it is still operating.

The service is provided through OPTN, a subsidiary of Rocom Wireless.

To subscribe, text OPTN TCD to 2678. The service is free to subscribers.

For more information see www.trc.govt.nz , www.getthru.govt.nz , and www.optn.co.nz .


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