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Civil defence alert test this weekend

Media Release

3 November 2016

Civil defence alert test this weekend

In recognition of World Tsunami Awareness Day, a civil emergency siren will sound at Lake Ōkareka on Saturday as part of a Bay of Plenty Emergency Management Group testing exercise.

Rotorua district’s Civil Defence Emergency Management Primary Controller, Stavros Michael, says although the risk of a tsunami hitting Rotorua is low, the exercise will check our preparedness for other disasters.

Saturday’s event will be carried out across the region including at Lake Ōkareka and aims to check that alert systems are working correctly, which would reduce the potential impact a disaster such as earthquakes, geothermal activities or eruption may have on communities.

Mr Michael says as part of the test, a stinger or siren will blare at the lake at midday.

“The exercise on Saturday will allow us to test how to attach the stinger to a vehicle and practice driving around a designated route. The stinger will broadcast the Civil Defence alert tone and will voice a message warning people of the test. It will be loud enough to be heard from inside homes and buildings. The exercise will help us check how systems in Rotorua work and identify what can change in order to be more efficient in delivering emergency warnings to the public.”

Saturday’s test includes:

• Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Emergency Management will send out text alerts and emails to people who have signed up for the services

• Updates will be posted to the Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Facebook and Twitter pages

• Sirens will sound across Bay of Plenty including at Lake Ōkareka at midday

In the lead up to the test exercise, Stavros Michael encourages people who are not yet registered for civil defence alerts to sign up here at the Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Emergency Management website.

Last year, the United Nations designated November the 5th as World Tsunami Awareness Day, which was instigated by Japan and Chile.

The UN announced that as part of its first awareness campaign this year it would focus on education and evacuation drills.


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