Step 1. Get emergency information and alerts
The Wellington Region Emergency Management Office (WREMO) will only send alerts when there is a threat to life or significant disruption that could affect all or part of the Wellington Region.
Sources of information in an emergency include:
- Emergency alerts to your mobile phone
- Listen to Radio New Zealand and your local stations (check you have a battery or wind-up radio, in case the power and phone networks are down) [ADD LINK TO RNZ LIST]
- WREMO's emergency website. Visit wremo.nz
- Like WREMO’s Facebook page
- Follow WREMO’s Twitter feed
- Visit your local council website and their social media
An earthquake can cause a tsunami. If you feel an earthquake that is either longer than a minute OR strong enough to knock you off your feet, as soon as the shaking stops, move inland, uphill out of all tsunami zones or to the fifth floor or higher.
Don't wait for an official warning after a large earthquake - there won't be enough time to send an alert or there could be a problem with the phone network.
In New Zealand there are two types of emergency alerts which can be sent to your mobile phone:
- Emergency Mobile Alerts - this is an alert which can be sent to your mobile, without needing to sign up or download an app. Currently, not all phones can receive these alerts.
- Red Cross Hazard App - you can sign up to get emergency alerts from the Wellington Region Emergency Management Office (WREMO) through the Red Cross Hazards App.
Who can send an emergency alert to your mobile?
Emergency services, Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Groups and other approved agencies around New Zealand.
What to do if you get an emergency alert
When you receive an emergency alert, follow the advice from the alert and make sure you are safe. Then make sure your friends and family are safe by sharing the information on social media or text (if you can).
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) introduced a nationwide emergency alert which can be sent to your mobile, without needing to sign up or download an app.
Not all mobile phones are capable of receiving Mobile Emergency Alerts. NEMA has published a list of phones and their operating systems that are known to be capable of receiving alerts.
NEMA is working with the telecommunications industry to ensure that all mobile phones sold in New Zealand will have Emergency Mobile Alerting enabled, check when you next buy a phone that it can receive Emergency Mobile Alerts.
Nationwide test of the Emergency Mobile Alert system
NEMA tested the system in November 2017, 2018 and 2019. The next test will take place in 2020 (date yet to be announced).
You can sign up to get emergency alerts from WREMO through the Red Cross Hazards App.
Download the New Zealand Red Cross’ Hazards app to your mobile phone, then choose your notification settings:
Step 1. Download the app
Step 2. Choose your notification settings
Make sure 'General Notifications' are turned on so WREMO can notify you during a life-threatening emergency. WREMO will send alerts only when personal safety is at risk. You can adjust the other notifications to only receive the ones you want.
What is the Red Cross Hazard App?
The Red Cross Hazards App has been implemented by the New Zealand Red Cross as a platform that can send official warnings and alerts, tailored to users’ locations, as well as step-by-step guides to help households create emergency plans and prepare getaway kits. The app is designed to operate in large-scale emergencies when communication networks are under pressure.
There is the option to get weather warnings from Metservice and earthquake notifications from Geonet.
You can monitor up to five locations and choose which notifications you will receive for each location.
Who sends alerts from the Red Cross Hazard app?
Other CDEM Groups around New Zealand may send alerts, you will need to contact your local emergency management office to confirm whether they are also using the Red Cross Hazards App to send alerts.
Watch this instructional video on how to set up the Red Cross Hazard App.
Go to Step 2: Know how to stay safe in an earthquake
You reduce your chance of injury if you DROP, COVER and HOLD during an earthquake. Most injuries and deaths during earthquakes are caused by falling objects rather than buildings collapsing.
If you are unable to DROP, COVER and HOLD, brace yourself as best you can and try to find a way to protect your head and neck.
Attend a free one-hour session to get tips on how you, your household and whānau can stay safe and get through.
The session covers:
- What could happen your area in an earthquake
- How to stay safe
- Key points for your emergency plan
- Essential emergency supplies
- How neighbours can help each other