The newly announced Australian Warning System is expected to provide a national approach to warnings for hazards such as bushfire, flood, storm, cyclone, extreme heat and severe weather.
The new system will help Australians to be better prepared for disasters and successfully delivers on the recommendations of the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements.
The Australian Warning System has been developed based on community research and input from Australia’s emergency services and hazard agencies.
Now that summer has started and the disaster season is upon us, this new system will make it easier for people to recognise and understand emergency warnings wherever they are in Australia.
In the past Australians had been relying on different warning systems for different hazard types that varied across jurisdictions.
The new warnings have come into effect for bushfires in all jurisdictions except for Western Australia, which will adopt it in the near future.
Warnings for other hazards such as floods, cyclones and heatwaves will be phased in over time.
The new system uses a nationally consistent set of icons to show incidents on websites and apps, supported by calls to action. The three warning levels are:
· Advice (Yellow)
An incident has started. There is no immediate danger. Stay up to date in case the situation changes.
· Watch and Act (Orange)
There is a heightened level of threat. Conditions are changing and you need to start taking action now to protect you and your family.
· Emergency Warning (Red)
An Emergency Warning is the highest level of warning. You may be in danger and need to take action immediately. Any delay now puts your life at risk.
The Australian Warning System has been developed by the Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Authorities Council (AFAC).
Itis one tool in the suite of emergency warning mechanisms that state and territory emergency service organisations now have at their disposal.
Further information on the Australian Warning System can be found here.