Assessment of Auckland Civil Defence and Emergency Management Group warning system options

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Leonard, G.S.; Johnston, D.M.; Saunders, W.S.A.; Paton, D. 2006 Assessment of Auckland Civil Defence and Emergency Management Group warning system options. Lower Hutt, N.Z.: GNS Science. GNS Science report 2006/02 73 p.

Abstract: This report recommends priority options for public notification of warnings for the short (1 year), medium (1 to 5 years) and long (5 to 10+ years) term for the Auckland CDEM Group, based on a review of 26 options under the broad headings of ‘natural warnings’, ‘via institutional staff to those in their care’, ‘via community/organisation networks to the public’, ‘via third-party hardware and/or staff’ and ‘via dedicated hardware’. Early warning public notification is discussed in the context of an effective warning system, as part of the underlying goal of improving community resilience. Effective warning systems include, as well as early warning and public notification: response planning; discussion and communication; education, training, maps and signs; exercises; underpinning hazard research; and effectiveness evaluation. In parallel to this report there is also a long-term community resilience project underway for the Auckland region. Technology currently allows, in theory, for the vast majority of people to receive a detailed warning message within seconds of the notification system being activated. The major limiting factors are cost, technology-implementation lead-time, ongoing maintenance costs, ongoing effort through testing and exercising of the system, and most importantly the development of a resilient community with the capability and motivation to make the correct decisions based on the warning message received. The partial, and/or un-maintained/un-exercised implementation of a new hardware-based system may have a negative impact on overall community resilience, especially due to reduction in other mitigation measures because of reliance on the warning system to ‘save us’. (auth)