What is the Public Warning System?
Napier's public warning system (PWS) sirens may be activated before and during an emergency or disaster. One or more sirens in the citywide network can be triggered to make an on-going rising and falling signal. This sounds like the volunteer fire station siren. It pulses for 10 seconds on, 20 seconds off, for five minutes or longer if necessary.
The alert means an emergency is imminent or has occurred, and that important information will be broadcast on local radio stations.
The radio-controlled sirens can be activated at any time. They won't operate in a power cut. If you are concerned, turn on your battery-powered radio, tuning in to a local radio station for up-to-date instructions and information.
Napier City Council's Emergency Management (Civil Defence) team will assess the threat to the community and determine the appropriate response.
Why are the sirens sounding?
- A disaster is imminent or a Civil Defence emergency has been declared.
- A public response is required.
- An emergency announcement is to be broadcast on radio.
- You need to turn on your radio, tuning in to a local station.
- Follow the instructions.
- Keep the radio on. Information will be updated.
What threats could trigger to a siren alert?
- A severe storm
- Toxic fumes
- A significant fireVolcanic ash fall
- Distance source tsunami (seismic sea wave)
The siren won't be used in the event of an earthquake.
What do I do when I hear the siren?
- Turn on a radio.
- Tune it in to a local radio station with a strong signal.
- Listen for and follow broadcast instructions.
It's possible some Napier residents might not hear the sirens because of where they are or background noise. Factors such as wind, elevation and topography may also reduce the effectiveness of the sirens. Some people in Esk Valley, Bay View and Poraiti may not hear the alert.
Napier has had a public alert siren system since 1963. The equipment was upgraded with additional sirens installed in the late 1990s to cover urban expansion in Tamatea, Greenmeadows and Taradale. The system is regularly maintained, with 'flick' testing carried out every three months. The public doesn't hear this test, which is done to ensure the mechanics/electrics are working satisfactorily.
You may hear the sound of the sting. The radio announcer will tell you what's happening and what you should do next in a real emergency.