The risk of a tsunami hitting Rotorua may be "low", but that doesn't mean the district won't be part of World Tsunami Awareness Day.

In recognition of the day a civil emergency siren will sound at Lake Okareka on Saturday as part of a Bay of Plenty Emergency Management Group testing exercise.

Rotorua district's Civil Defence emergency management primary controller Stavros Michael said although the risk of a tsunami hitting Rotorua was low the exercise would check preparedness for other disasters.

The exercise will be carried out across the region and aims to check alert systems are working correctly to reduce the potential impact disasters such as earthquakes, geothermal activities or eruptions could have.


Mr Michael said as part of the test a stinger or siren would blare at the lake at midday.

"The exercise on Saturday will allow us to test how to attach the stinger to a vehicle and practise driving around a designated route. The stinger will broadcast the Civil Defence alert tone and will voice a message warning people of the test. It will be loud enough to be heard from inside homes and buildings.

"The exercise will help us check how systems in Rotorua work and identify what can change in order to be more efficient in delivering emergency warnings to the public," he said.

In the lead up to the test exercise Mr Michael encouraged people who were not yet registered for Civil Defence alerts to sign up at the Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Emergency Management website.

Last year the United Nations designated November 5 as World Tsunami Awareness Day which was instigated by Japan and Chile.

The UN announced that as part of its first awareness campaign this year it would focus on education and evacuation drills.

Saturday's test:
- Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Emergency Management will send out text alerts and emails to people who have signed up for the services
- Updates will be posted to the Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Facebook and Twitter pages
- Sirens will sound across Bay of Plenty including at Lake Okareka at midday