A Bay of Plenty emergency alert test has been touted as a success by organisers despite confusion at when the alerts were received.

The Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Emergency Management Group sent out test alerts via text, Red Cross Hazard App push notifications and fixed and vehicle-mounted sirens at 10am today.

However, many subscribed mobiles received their text anywhere between 10am and 10.15am.

Emergency management Bay of Plenty director Clinton Naude said the biggest piece of feedback on the group's Facebook page was the amount of time taken between the test time of 10am and when people received their alert text. Despite this the alerts had a "good result overall".

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"Unfortunately people tend to believe that once a text message is sent, people will receive it immediately at the other end.

"While we pushed the send button to more than 40,000 text subscribers at 10am, and we had confirmation that the texts had left the alerting system at 10.03am, unfortunately because of the way the service providers then have to process a large number of texts people will find that they are received at different times.

"Because of this, it's really important that people are getting their Civil Defence information in all the ways they can – whether that's through also downloading and setting up the Red Cross Hazards App, liking our Facebook page, or just being aware of natural warning signs which mean when an earthquake happens – 'Drop, Cover, Hold' or if you are near the coast and an earthquake occurs then remember 'Long or Strong - Get Gone'."

More than 800 subscribers signed up for text alerting this week.

"It really shows that while these exercises are largely to help us ensure our systems are working, people are taking it as an opportunity to make sure they are prepared.

"I encourage everyone to take this as a reminder to check their own emergency kits, ensure they know their evacuation routes and also ensure they have an emergency plan for their pets."

Today's test did not include the Emergency Mobile Alerts, which will be tested by the Ministry of Civil Defence at a later date.