West Auckland locations Sunday 1 April, 12pm
The tsunami sirens in west Auckland, on both the east and west coasts, will be tested this Sunday to check operational performance and familiarise residents with the siren tones.
"It's important that residents in west Auckland recognise the tsunami warning tones and know what to do if a tsunami hits," says Auckland Civil Defence Controller Clive Manley.
"The warning system will be activated if there is a tsunami threat issued for the region," he says.
Tsunami sirens are located at Bethells Beach Te Henga, Piha North, Piha South, Karekare, Whatipu, Little Huia, Huia, Te Atatu South, Harbour View Road, Te Atatu Peninsula North, Westpark Marina, Hobsonville Airbase (Harrier Point) and Herald Island. They are tested twice a year, at the beginning and end of daylight saving. The next test will take place in late September.
The test sequence will be three sets of tones, each signalling a specific action. They will sound for one minute each and there will be 15 seconds between each set. In an emergency, tones will sound for longer.
The siren patterns and the way they will sound in an emergency are:
* Alert (dash - dash - dot - dot) sounds for 15 minutes and indicates threat of tsunami. Evacuate beaches, prepare for full evacuation and monitor the radio or television for more information * Evacuate (dot - dot - dot) continuous bursts for 15 minutes indicates immediate evacuation to the nearest safe high ground and to avoid using personal transport unless essential * All clear (continuous tone) sounds for 5 minutes indicate threat has passed. Return to premises if they have not been affected and follow directions of the emergency services if your area has been affected.
"A tsunami could occur at any time and the effect it might have is difficult to predict. It is therefore vital that we all have a disaster plan and know what to do in an emergency," says Mr Manley.
For more information about the west Auckland tsunami warning system go to www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz.
For everything you need to get ready for an emergency go to www.getthru.govt.nz.
Dos and don'ts
* Don't panic when you hear the siren * Do identify if it is an alert or evacuate signal * Don't travel in your car unless you have to * Do evacuate all beaches immediately on hearing the alert or evacuate signal * Don't return until you have heard the all clear signal * Do know where your essential documents and medicines are to take with you * Do make sure you have a charged torch available (if you have to evacuate at night) and battery operated radio