Coinciding with World Tsunami Awareness Day, Civil Defence tested their alert systems across the Bay of Plenty on Saturday.

Bay of Plenty Emergency Management Director Clinton Naude says they tested text alerts, email and social media updates as well fixed sirens in eastern Bay of Plenty and vehicle mounted sirens in other parts of the Bay.

“It went really well. When there is sufficient time to qualify information about a natural hazard, tools like our text alerts are very effective at letting subscribers know if there is a significant emergency in the region and what to do. It was great to see the increase in subscriptions leading up to the test and the engagement on social media afterwards.”

“We also tested our email update system. These updates are not intended to alert people but instead are a way to update people with more information.”

“Most important is that the community know and understand the natural warning signs. An earthquake that lasts longer than a minute or is strong enough to knock you off your feet is the natural warning you need to head inland or to higher ground. Once away from the water listen to a radio station for information from local civil defence about further action you should take or for the all clear from emergency services”, says Mr Naude.

For those who haven’t subscribed to Civil Defences text alert system or email updates, make sure you subscribe at www.bopcivildefence.govt.nz or text the two letters for the area you live in (TA for Tauranga, WB for Western Bay of Plenty, KA for Kawerau, WH for Whakatāne, RO for Rotorua and OP for Ōpōtiki) to 2028.

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