Tag Archives: Emergency

Emergency Mobile Alert: Test Notifications on 24 Nov

On Sunday 24 November between 6pm and 7pm, you may receive a test emergency notification alert through to your mobile phone. There’s no need to panic, this is a nationwide test as part of the government’s Get Ready campaign to check that your mobile device can receive the alert in the event of a real emergency. You don’t need to do anything upon receiving the alert.

What is the Emergency Mobile Alert system?
Emergency Mobile Alerts are messages about emergencies sent by authorised emergency agencies to capable mobile phones.

Why am I receiving this alert?
The alerts are designed to keep you safe and are broadcast to all capable phones from targeted cell towers. They 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.

As these are sent by cell broadcast, there is no option to opt out of receiving these alerts. They are for your safety and play an important role in emergency procedures in New Zealand.

If your phone is from overseas or parallel-imported, it may work in New Zealand, however your experience may differ from those sold in New Zealand. Check to see if your phone is capable of receiving alerts>

When am I likely to receive this alert?
The next scheduled, annual test is for Sunday 24 November between 6pm and 7pm. Unless it is specified as a test, the only other time you will receive one will be in the event of a real emergency.

Why are these alerts being tested? 
Since the system was launched in November 2017, a test has been held annually to ensure the Emergency Mobile Alert system works well. The test allows for the system and cell towers to be evaluated as well as your phone’s ability to receive the alert.

What to do next…
There’s nothing you need to do after receiving the alert. There will be a form available for your feedback on the test via the Ministry of Civil Defence website.

Other emergency communication channels to be aware of
In a real emergency, these alerts will never be used in isolation, there will be other places for you to find information.

For more information, visit the Get Ready website> 

Communications following a significant incident

The 14 November North Canterbury earthquake has prompted a change to the way UC will communicate to staff, students and key stakeholders in the event of a major incident that may affect campus.

In the event of an incident, staff who are off campus should assume campus remains open unless they are told otherwise, or it is obvious from other sources such as media or Civil Defence that it will not be. If campus is open but staff are unable to get here, they need only let their manager know.

Following an earthquake of 5.5 or greater within 50 kilometres of Christchurch, UC buildings will typically be inspected. We may also do so for less severe events closer to Christchurch.

UC will endeavour to contact staff as soon as possible after an event, and after the outcome of any inspections are known. UC will endeavour to communicate by 6pm at the latest for events during the day, and by 7am for significant events occurring overnight. Staff starting work on campus very early in the morning should contact the UC Security office for an update prior to starting work.

UC will communicate to staff and students and key stakeholders by email. It will also post on the UC Facebook page and on Twitter. This is intended to compensate for  loss of internet access through powercuts or evacuation, by providing information searchable from a mobile device. Both UC’s Facebook page and Twitter accounts are public accounts not requiring membership to access. Searching for University of Canterbury in a search engine will locate the UC Facebook page. Likewise, searching @UCNZ will locate UC’s Twitter feed. (Scroll down to see visual instructions below on how to do this.)

UC will no longer post on the UC website as a matter of course, but may still do so if the event is significant and affects campus, or the Emergency Operations Centre is activated. Any website post is likely to be a delayed, more considered response for interested parties beyond the campus.

The Communications and Engagement team continues to investigate options for texting staff and students updates following a significant event. For an organisation the size of UC, this is not as simple as one might assume. This option, should it eventuate, will at best be an opt-in service requiring staff and students to keep their details updated in order to receive updates.

To view the images below at a large size hold down the Ctrl key and press the ‘+’ key. Step 1 Twitter Facebook Step 2 Twitter Facebook Step 3 Twitter Facebook

Does anyone remember the Penguin Scale?

UC Penguin Scale: Quigley, Sandy, Rolly, Rocky, Wobbly, Silty, Wavy, Trembly, Shakey, Quakey
UC Penguin Scale: Quigley, Sandy, Rolly, Rocky, Wobbly, Silty, Wavy, Trembly, Shakey, Quakey

Not everyone will remember these guys but this is a story worth telling…

During the 2010 and 2011 Canterbury earthquakes many people in the region came up with their own scales for measuring the strength of aftershocks. At Canterbury University we made up our own Richter-alternative called the Penguin Scale. Every time the ground shook a few of the wooden penguin ornaments (pictured above) would end up on the floor. However many penguins landed on the ground gave us our measurement and it was just amazing how accurate they were! The gang of penguins is still located on campus.

I’ve heard of other creative scales too like turtle scales and beer bottle scales. If you had your own scale I’d love to hear what it was.

Here’s a quick reminder of what to do if an earthquake occurs while you’re on campus.

  • Drop, cover, hold
  • Do not try to move while the ground is shaking
  • If outside – stay outside, do not enter buildings or facilities. Take shelter clear of buildings, trees, power lines or other potential hazards
  • When shaking has stopped, and or fire alarm has activated, evacuate building immediately if inside. If outside, go to the nearest holding area or Ilam Fields if safe to do so
  • Follow UC staff instructions
  • Await instructions from UC Security or Emergency Personnel
  • DO NOT pass back through campus
  • DO NOT isolate yourself, stay with others

The University has an Emergency Management website that you should be familiar with. If an emergency or campus closure occurs and you’re waiting for info from UC, please monitor local radio stations, your UC email and the UC website.