Civil defence

Civil defence and emergency management

Disasters can be caused by natural hazards, such as earthquakes, tsunami, fire, floods and volcanic eruptions, or by other hazards like chemical spills, power failures or interruptions to our essential services, such as water.

Emergency management procedures can be put in place in situations where normal response services cannot cope or potentially cannot cope.

Individuals, families, businesses, volunteers, organisations and communities can reduce the impact that natural disasters have on us, by preparing and taking some simple steps to cope when disasters happen.

In a disaster, you may need to look after yourself without outside assistance for at least three days. You’ll need to make sure you have enough supplies to last for this period.

Call Civil Defence on 0800 22 22 00 for information and advice before, during and after an emergency.

Preparing for an emergency

Auckland Civil Defence and Emergency Management website has all the information you need to get ready for an emergency, and to prepare an emergency survival and getaway kit.

You can also read the Auckland Civil Defence and Emergency Management Hazards quick reference guide.

Auckland Hazards quick reference guide (PDF 2.5MB)

Assessing Auckland's vulnerability

The Auckland Engineering Lifelines Group is a collaborative group of over 20 lifeline utilities that work together to improve the resilience of the region’s infrastructure. 

The group assesses the impact of various hazards on Auckland’s infrastructure and identifies ways of reducing them.

See the Auckland Engineering Lifelines Group website.

Register for alerts

Civil Defence app

Aucklanders can download the free ‘Auckland Civil Defence’ app on any smartphone, including iPhone, Android and Windows devices.

Visit the Auckland Civil Defence and Emergency Management website to download the app.

Text notifications

You can register to receive text message notifications of Civil Defence emergencies.

Text messages will only be sent in the event of a tsunami, a potential local emergency such as a cyclone, or when a Civil Defence emergency is likely to be declared. All text notifications will be free of charge.

To register, text 5455 with the level of priority message you want to receive as seen below:

  • text high to get high severity emergency SMS alerts only
  • text medium to get medium and high severity SMS emergency alerts
  • text all to get all emergency SMS alerts
  • text stop to unsubscribe and stop receiving emergency SMS alerts.

When registering your mobile phone you will receive a message confirming your registration. For more information email Civil Defence.


During an emergency

During an emergency you may need to stay indoors or evacuate your home.

Listen to your radio for information and advice, or visit the Auckland Civil Defence and Emergency Management website for emergency status updates.

Tsunami warning sirens

Tsunami warning sirens are installed at the following locations:

  • Omaha
  • Point Wells
  • Whangateau
  • Waiwera.

  • Bethells
  • Te Henga
  • Piha (north and south)
  • Karekare
  • Huia
  • Little Huia
  • Whatipu
  • Te Atatu (north and south)
  • Herald Island
  • Westpark Marina
  • Hobsonville Airbase (Harrier Point).

Regular annual tests will be conducted at midday on the Sunday of the start and finish of daylight saving.

Tsunami signals

The following signals will be used during an actual tsunami threat:

1. Alert signal (dash – dash – dot – dot) sounded for 15 minutes

This signal notifies residents that a tsunami threat has been received by Civil Defence.

Residents should respond by:

  • evacuating beaches
  • listening to the radio and TV for information
  • preparing to evacuate their homes and businesses if required.

2. Evacuate signal (dot-dot-dot) sounded in continuous burst for 15 minutes

The signal is used when a specific threat to the coastline has been confirmed.

Residents should respond by:

  • evacuating immediately to the nearest high ground
  • avoiding using personal transport (e.g. cars) unless absolutely essential, as this may cause congestion.

3. All clear signal (a continuous tone for five minutes)

The signal is used to notify that the threat of a tsunami has passed.

Residents should respond by:

  • returning to their home or business, if not affected
  • following the directions of the emergency services in affected areas.

For more information email Civil Defence.

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