Tsunami sirens not recog­nised

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - SI­MON MAUDE

Auck­lan­ders don’t recog­nise tsunami warn­ing sirens and Auck­land Coun­cil wants to spend $2.7 mil­lion to change that.

Craig Glover, from Auck­land Civil De­fence, said voice alerts and an ed­u­ca­tion cam­paign were needed as many peo­ple did not un­der­stand sirens.

‘‘The tone only sounds are not rec­om­mended by the Min­istry of Civil De­fence for that rea­son, they do cause con­fu­sion.’’

As part of a wide-rang­ing ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem, coun­cil wants to up­grade the sirens to carry pre­re­corded voice alerts.

Presently, tsunami warn­ing meth­ods in­clude text, email, so­cial me­dia, ra­dio and tele­vi­sion mes­sages - loud­speaker equipped he­li­copters can even be de­ployed.

Coun­cil wants to en­sure each method is ef­fec­tive, tak­ing a ‘‘big pic­ture view of pub­lic alert­ing’’, Glover said.

On Wed­nes­day, the coun­cil’s Civil De­fence and Emer­gency Man­age­ment Com­mit­tee en­dorsed a draft frame­work to up­date the Auck­land’s emer­gency alert­ing sys­tems.

The frame­work de­fines what pub­lic alert­ing can and can­not do and looks at each of Auck­land’s alert­ing chan­nels.

Af­ter lo­cal board con­sul­ta­tion, a re­port will go back to the civil de­fence com­mit­tee in May be­fore a roll out of the new ini­tia­tives.

Glover ex­pects the project will take up to two years.

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