Emergency Mobile Alert

Emergency Mobile Alerts are messages about emergencies sent by authorised emergency agencies to capable mobile phones. The alerts are designed to keep people safe and are broadcast to all capable phones from targeted cell towers.

The alerts can be targeted to areas affected by serious hazards and will only be sent when there is a serious threat to life, health or property, and, in some cases, for test purposes.

The 2019 nationwide test of Emergency Mobile Alert will be held on the evening of 24 November 2019. You should expect to receive a test alert that evening sometime between 6 and 7 pm.

Find out more about nationwide tests
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How to get Emergency Mobile Alert

To get Emergency Mobile Alerts you need a phone capable of receiving Emergency Mobile Alerts. The phone also needs to have cell reception and up-to-date software. You don’t have to download an app or subscribe to a service.

  1. Check if your phone is on the list of capable phones.
  2. Update your phone’s operating system software.

Please refer to your phone manual or talk to your mobile operator if you need help updating your phone.

We expect half of New Zealand's phones will be able to receive the alerts. We expect this number to rise over time.

Can I opt out of Emergency Mobile Alert?

As Emergency Mobile Alert is about keeping you safe, you won’t be able to opt out of receiving Emergency Mobile Alerts.

We do not target specific phones, instead we broadcast to a targeted area that is at risk. For this reason, we are unable to exclude your specific phone.

Your phone may show optional settings used in other countries, but in New Zealand we will use a special broadcast channel that is permanently on.

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Read the Decision for Emergency Mobile Alert to remain a non-opt-out channel for more information.

ema-decision-statement-en-jul18.pdf pdf 312 KB

More information and resources

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We’ve compiled helpful answers to frequently asked questions about Emergency Mobile Alert.

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This NZSL video gives an overview of Emergency Mobile Alert.

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The Director's Statement for Emergency Mobile Alert Device Standards defines desired mobile device standards for emergency alerting in New Zealand.

ema-director-statement-en-may18.pdf pdf 846 KB
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Download a helpful factsheet explaining the Emergency Mobile Alert system. Available in multiple languages.

ema-mobile-alert-fact-bi-nov17.pdf pdf 91 KB
ema-mobile-alert-fact-ci-nov17.pdf pdf 102 KB
ema-mobile-alert-fact-en-nov17.pdf pdf 65 KB
ema-mobile-alert-fact-mi-nov17.pdf pdf 92 KB
ema-mobile-alert-fact-my-nov17.pdf pdf 248 KB
ema-mobile-alert-fact-so-nov17.pdf pdf 93 KB
ema-mobile-alert-fact-ta-nov17.pdf pdf 126 KB
ema-mobile-alert-fact-tl-nov17.pdf pdf 92 KB
ema-mobile-alert-fact-to-nov17.pdf pdf 100 KB