What is the Public Warning System?
Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence and Emergency Management (HBCDEM) have many ways of getting information to the public before, during, and after an emergency. These include:
- The National Emergency Mobile Alert. While this is not controlled by HBCDEM, it may be used by central or local government.
- HBCDEM Facebook. Find, like and follow their page - it's your best local social media site to refer to.
- Download the Red Cross Hazards App. Available on both Android and iPhone.
- Radio stations. Your local stations will be broadcasting local information.
- The Hawke's Bay Emergency Management Group website is your best source of local emergency information. Check it out!
In addition, there's a siren network across Napier City which may be activated before and during an emergency or disaster. The citywide network can be triggered to make an on-going rising and falling signal. This sounds like the volunteer fire station siren but is on for 10 seconds on, then off for 20 seconds. It will last 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, Facebook, and website, or via any means open to the HBCDEM Group.
However, they won't operate in a power cut. If you are concerned, seek information using any of the methods above.
Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence and Emergency Management Group 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.
- A significant fire.
- Volcanic ash fall.
- Distance source tsunami (seismic sea wave).
The siren will NOT be used in the event of an earthquake.
What do I do when I hear the siren?
- Seek information from any means possible.
- 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.