Auckland's city council has launched a free Civil Defence app to help to quickly inform residents when disaster strikes.
The app is available through the app stores for iPhone and Android by searching for 'Auckland Civil Defence', and the Auckland Council recommends those using alternative devices save the mobile Civil Defence web page (blinkm.co/acdnz
) to their home screens.
Aucklanders can set up push notifications and SMS messages from the app so that they are notified of any threats and informed about how to deal with them.
The app also encourages users to learn about and prepare for threats.
"With so many Aucklanders using smartphone devices, it made sense that any new warning system needed to embrace new technology," said Auckland's chair of the Civil Defence committee, Michael Goudie.
"With an estimated half the population active on Facebook, we’re also encouraging Aucklanders to take responsibility in times of emergency and let their friends and family know via social media channels what’s going on that may impact on them."
Auckland Civil Defence controller Clive Manley said Auckland had learned many lessons from the Christchurch earthquakes and Japanese tsunami.
"Radio and television will continue to play a vital role in disseminating public alerts, but now we have added the hugely significant channel of personalised and immediate alerts to all those Aucklanders with smartphones," Manley said.
Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye pointed to some of Auckland's own recent threats as reason to download the app.
"Auckland has experienced recent events such as tornadoes and floods, while other parts of the country have witnessed earthquakes and volcanic eruptions," she said.