Emergency Mobile Alerts

Getting real-time information to people quickly during a Civil Defence emergency is critical.

Emergency mobile alert nationwide test 22 May 2022 from 6pm

This Sunday May 22, 2022, there will be a nationwide test of the Emergency Mobile Alert (EMA) sometime between 6pm and 7pm.

The EMA is used to alert people of significant immediate risk.

When your phone receives an EMA it makes a loud klaxon-like noise and shows a warning message.

Some phones can’t get the EMA. People who have recently updated their phone may get the alert for the first time during Sunday’s test, but others will be most familiar with it from Covid lockdown alerts. 

FAQs about the EMA nationwide test here. [PDF, 265 KB]

The Emergency Mobile Alert (EMA) enables us to send out emergency alerts to the public to warn them of real and impending danger when possible. 

When needed, and only when a real danger is present, EMAs will be sent to phones in targeted areas. If your phone is on, capable and inside the targeted area, you should get the alert. 

If you get an alert, read the message and take it seriously. Follow any and all instructions on the message. We don't send out messages unless the area you are in is in real danger so don't delay. 

Most phones are currently capable, and eventually all phones sold in New Zealand will be able to receive the alerts. Check Civil Defence's website(external link) to see if your phone is one of the many that can currently receive alerts. 

If your phone isn't capable of receiving alerts, we recommend downloading the Red Cross Hazard App(external link) (available on both Android and Apple) - we send the same message to this app when we issue an EMA. 

FAQs and troubleshooting guides for the EMA can be found here.(external link)