How did Civil Defence communications do?

As I blogged in July, I attended a briefing earlier this year on how their warning system works, so I figure it is worth reviewing what went well, and not so well.

Timeliness – a big tick for this one. The advisory was released well before the potential tsunami was due to hit NZ.

Media – NZ Herald and Stuff websites carried the info, as did Breakfast TV. Seemed to do well keeping media informed.

Website – Not so good here. The main Civil Defence website did say an advisory had been issued, but nowhere on the site could you actually get the full details of it. The media do not always get things absolutely correct, and people should be able to go to authoritative sources.

Radio – people were told to listen to their radios for any local evacuation instructions. I think at some stage this strategy may have to be revisited. With ipods, more and more people do not have or listen to the radio. To get through to younger people especially, the Internet and text messaging is going to be more relevant.

– Twitter was great as a way to alert people, and that is where I first heard about it. I suggested to Civil Defence that they should look at having an official Twitter account as it would have been good for people to be able to retweet an official advisory rather than second hand reports.

E-mail – I received the warning threat by e-mail at 8.06 am. That was 90 minutes before the first wave was due, so pretty good. Only complaint is the e-mail address they came from was and that doesn’t look too official. Would be better for it to come from a address.

Overall pretty good effort I though, as in by 0945when the first wave might hit, I would have thought most of the country was aware of the advisory.

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