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Thousands To Get The Message On Emergencies

Taranaki Civil Defence Emergency Management Group media release
3 April 2008

Thousands To Get The Message On Emergencies

The next Civil Defence emergency in Taranaki is sure to go off with a beep - more than 2000 of them, in fact.

That's because 2280 Taranaki people have so far subscribed to a text alert service that will inform them of impending emergencies, a figure that delights the region's Civil Defence Emergency Mangement Group.

People can subscribe to the service for free by texting OPTN TCD to 2678. When an emergency arises, they will get short messages advising them to listen to their radios or to check the emergency management pages on the Taranaki Regional Council website, www.trc.govt.nz .

"The number of subscribers is fantastic, given that we only launched the service at the start of the year," says the Chairman of the Taranaki Civil Defence Emergency Management Group, Brian Jeffares.

"We'll be able to get the word out immediately to more than 2% of the Taranaki population - and they're sure to forward the message on to their contacts."

Mr Jeffares stresses that the service is only for alerts and subscribers won't get running commentaries on emergency events.

"We'll be using the service to let people know they urgently need to take notice of and act upon the Civil Defence information on the radio or website."

The new service also doesn't take away the need for emergency preparedness, he says. "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 .

ENDS

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