Since our last newsletter, we have had a super busy period with several significant floods involving evacuations, as well as strong Spring equinox winds that caused some damage.
Thankfully there was no loss of life.
Can't say it's boring!
We have a few points to cover, so lets jump right in.
Lerts for the Same Thing?
People on the boundary of two (usually weather) events can often get each alert. One could be a weather warning the other a weather watch. An overlap of at least 25km is essential to reach everyone.
Why do I Get Lerts That Don't Seem to Affect Me?
Sometimes MetService gets it wrong. We also have broad areas covered by alerts because we travel. For example when Remutaka Hill gets closed - this affects people from Masterton to Paraparaumu to Wellington and the lower Wairarapa.
Exclusive and Faster Alerts
We can get alerts to you within 2-3 mins of getting information. If you tell us of a crash for example, we can get an alert out to subscribers up 30 mins faster than official sources because we have very different protocols. Save our “Contact Us” page as a bookmark your device. Contact us link
We have conducted a trial, sending a message to people in an area for live updates, and they are proving really useful.
We also think proactively, with a bit of common sense. Recently waves on the south coast of Wellington combined dangerously with wind and high tide. We issued an alert to affected subscribers 45 minutes before any authorities. If we can give you that extra time it can make a difference.
Difficulties of Weather Forecasting
Multiple factors influence forecasting, so we will never make bold statements like “there will be heavy snow in CHCH CBD in 10 days time”. This would unhelpful, irresponsible click-bait. People believing this may change plans unnecessarily. We have seen many long-range forecasts get it so wrong.
Our approach – monitor sources and :-
5-10 Days out - Initial heads up to subscribers that something could happen that is noteworthy.
3-5 Days out – Providing more refined information, still saying “ It’s not locked in”. Images could now be included of rain maps snow levels etc.
NOTE: If initial Weather warnings from MetService are sent at this stage, it’s never a good look for what is coming. The Canterbury floods saw actual WARNINGS go out 3 days prior. It’s usually 1 day prior. We knew then it would be bad.
2 days out - Models will now be aligning and we can start advising details and how many alerts we are likely to send. Prediction of 30-50 Lerts is a notable event. We predicted over 50 for the Canterbury floods and ended up with 135. The largest number for any event in our 11yrs at that stage.
1 day out - Warning Lerts will have gone out by now and will be a combination of information from MetService, WeatherWatch, Windy.Com, BSCH maps, Earthnullschool and other sources. We never use mainstream media media as they often exaggerate. Impacts can also be advised like rapid river rise, slip risks, predicted road closures etc.
Do you know we have our own Meteorological Technician? His knowledge of weather and the NZ topography is incredibly useful.
With the Canterbury event, flooding had to happen because of the wind direction, mountains, drought soils and other factors. It was the perfect setup. Linking that together we Lerts about 5 hours before authorities flooding on the plains could happen
Are Your Emails Too Slow? There is a very good reason for it
There has been a surge of Lert Members converting to our Txt service over the last three months as they are not seeing emails for several hours. Many people don’t read them till too late. Not good in an emergency.
So why do we supply them? Because we believe everyone should have access to our alerts, and email is the only free tool available. We have to buy Txts and pay staff, therefore need to charge for those.
The following graph shows how long it typically takes to see an email.
Delay is the trade off of emails. We have no control once we send an email and why we always recommend Txt. Txts are immediate and have 99% delivery rate.
In a full on emergency like Tsunami, evacuation, fire, flooding etc, speed is critical. Our fastest way is undeniably txt.
We can all pay $2.50 spontaneously for some sweets or $4-$5 for a coffee. Makes $2 for your safety a pretty good purchase.
To upgrade, click HERE or drop us a line. We really want you to have the very best in alerting.
Tried Our Road Alert Service Yet?
We own and operate New Zealand's ONLY National road-alert service using push Txt alerts.
This has been a life saver for thousands of people. They've been able to change plans, avoid delays, rearrange their whole day, known of dangerous driving conditions and much more. The warning are immediate for crashes or days for weather events.
It's just $5/month but could save you a delay, help you plan an alternate route (we often supply an option) or we could save your life.
They differ from the emailed road alerts you currently may be getting, in a HUGE way. They cover each Island completely. This is perfect for heavy road users like commercial travellers, freight haulers, police, fire, ambulance and more, as we are getting an increasing amount of exclusive information, and so can tell you sooner.
Check it out at road.lert.info
Check Facebook Time Stamps
Delay is why we don't use Facebook for alerts.
Did you know Facebook posts can take many hours to reach you? We surveyed our followers and the results were alarming.
The following graph shows how long it took for people to actually get their posts and is why you should not rely on it exclusively.
The last four bars are the number people receiving posts 1-4+ hours late.
The following table shows how many people completely miss seeing a Facebook post. You'll never know if you miss a FB post
If Covid pops up in your neighbourhood, this link - Places of Interest Map will be helpful if you forget to scan into places and there is an outbreak.
What is a location of interest? It is a place and time that is unique. This means a single location can be a place of interest twice or more because infected persons had been at the location at different times.
A location with two different time ranges is two locations of interest.
Three Records Broken
Westport, Canterbury and Marlborough Flood Events
These were without a doubt our biggest events in 11 years.
225 different alerts were sent for the Westport event. Previous highest was Canterbury flooding, with 135 alerts.
750,000 individual Lerts to subscribers.
10 evacuation alerts,
105 road.lert.info road alerts
75 weather alerts and
40 other alerts, including 11 exclusive alerts from subscriber contributions.
By the way, what do you think of our newsletter format?
That's it for now.
Have a really great Xmas, and hopefully borders and restrictions will be loosened so you're able to.
The Lert Info team