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Civil Defence Hawke's Bay launches app for disaster alerts

Hawke’s Bay residents can now receive official disaster alerts and lifesaving information on their smart phones, as Civil Defence Hawke’s Bay begins alerting through the Red Cross Hazard App.

Hazard App, developed by New Zealand Red Cross, is a free app that alerts users to hazards like wild weather and flooding, and tsunami. It also includes information about how to prepare for emergencies, what to do after a disaster has occurred and an ‘I am safe’ messaging function.

Civil Defence Hawke’s Bay officially begins alerting through the Red Cross Hazard App on Monday 1 August. The app is one of a number of tools that will be used for issuing public alerts.

Civil Defence Hawke’s Bay Group Manager Ian Macdonald says the app will also help people in the region be better prepared for disasters and emergencies.

“When a disaster happens, it’s important people get the information they need to make it through safely. The Red Cross Hazard App is one of the many ways we have to alert people to emergencies and help them keep safe.”

Developed by the International Red Cross’ Global Disaster Preparedness Centre, the app has been used in several countries and during several recent disasters, including Hurricane Sandy in the United States.

New Zealand Red Cross brought the app to New Zealand, adapting the content to reflect New Zealand-specific hazards and emergency information.

About the Hazard App

The Red Cross Hazard App helps Kiwis identify hazards, reduce risk and stay informed when they need it most. It alerts users to official emergency warnings and updates, and allows them to quickly inform loved ones that they are safe. Users can tailor their alerts so they only receive those relevant to their location.

The app is also preloaded with information about hazards including floods, earthquakes, and tsunami, fire, weather and biosecurity risks.

It guides users through preparing an emergency response kit and plan, what to do during an emergency and offers step by step information to help people recover after an emergency. This preloaded content means Kiwis have instant access to all information, even without cell phone reception or an internet connection.

It can be downloaded for free from Google Play store for Android devices or from the Apple app store for iOS devices.

More information about the app, including frequently asked questions, can be found at www.redcross.org.nz

3 August 2016

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