During an emergency

About emergency warnings

Real-time information is not posted on this page.

Check for current alerts.

Don't wait for a warning message before you act.

Emergency services in South Australia issue warnings to inform and keep the community safe during significant incidents that threaten lives and property. Incidents include bushfire, flood, extreme weather, earthquake, hazardous chemical spills and public safety emergencies.

Warnings give you advice about the levels of risk and danger, and the actions to take in an emergency.

Emergency services and government agencies issue advice and warning messages to the public through websites, smartphone apps, television and radio broadcasts, mobile phone SMS messages and posts on social media - eg Facebook and Twitter.

Don't rely on one single source for emergency warning information. Warning mechanisms provide general information for a region or area and cannot deliver information for specific locations.

Advice and warning system

South Australia's warnings framework is aligned to the National Bushfire Scaled Advice and Warnings system, which encompasses:

  • Advice (colour blue) - messages to keep people informed and up to date with developments.
  • Watch and Act (colour yellow) - messages support the need for people to be aware of their situation and the circumstances around them and to take action to prepare and protect themselves, their family and neighbours.
  • Emergency Warning (colour red) - warning when there is the highest level of risk to life and property.

Warning information can also be accompanied by a Standard Emergency Warning Signal (SEWS) or an Emergency Alert Telephone and Text based Warning.

Standard Emergency Warning Signal

The SEWS is a distinctive siren sound to alert the community to the broadcast of an urgent safety message relating to a major emergency or disaster.

The signal is intended for use as an alert signal to be played on public media such as radio, television preceding an Emergency Warning message. It aims to draw listeners' attention to the emergency warning that follows.

If you hear the SEWS broadcast:

  • stop what you are doing
  • listen carefully to the information provided
  • act as directed.

Emergency Alert telephone and text warning system

Emergency Alert is the national telephone and text-based warning system used by emergency services. This system sends voice messages to landline telephones and text messages to mobile phones within a defined area for likely or actual emergencies.

Remember that power failures will prevent cordless phones from working and disasters may damage telephone infrastructure in your area or prevent mobile reception. The emergency might be happening too fast to get a warning out.

Learn more about the Emergency Alert system at emergencyalert.gov.au.

Stay informed

Stay up-to-date by using the following alert services.

Alert SA

Alert SA is South Australia's primary website for events, warnings and related emergency information. The Alert SA website displays official information from emergency services, government departments and community partners.

Access Alert SA via:

DisasterWatch app

DisasterWatch is a free phone app for iOS and Android released by the Attorney-General’s Department. It provides publicly available news and information about disaster events in Australia via direct feeds from authoritative sources in the states and territories and nationally.

This app does not provide direct emergency alert warnings to users. DisasterWatch is available from Google Play and from Apple-iTunes (search for DisasterWatch).

Radio

Stay tuned to your local ABC radio station.

Bushfire warning

During a bushfire, emergency services will provide as much information as possible through a variety of methods. Do not rely on one single source for emergency warning information.

Fires can threaten suddenly and without warning. Be prepared to respond to a bushfire threat without receiving any warning messages or information.

The Country Fire Service (CFS) issues warnings for bushfire that threaten lives and property.

Advice and warning system

The CFS has a three-stage warning system for bushfires. Warnings will be issued after the fire has been reported, according to the speed, size and the level of threat it presents to the community. Warnings may not be issued sequentially, as listed below.

Advice message

A fire has started. There is no immediate danger or the fire has eased.

This is general information to keep you up to date with developments.

Watch and Act

A fire is approaching you, conditions are changing.

You need to start taking action now to protect you and your family.

Emergency Warning

You are in danger and need to take action immediately.

You will be impacted by fire.

This message will be preceded by an emergency warning signal (a siren sound).

Stay informed

CFS

Radio and television

For a full list of services that will broadcast bushfire emergency warnings refer to the CFS Emergency Broadcast Partners fact sheet.

National Relay Service

If you are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech impairment, contact the National Relay Service (NRS):

  • TTY users phone 133 677 then ask for 1300 362 361
  • speak and listen users phone 1300 555 727, then ask for 1300 362 361
  • internet relay users connect to the NRS, then ask for 1300 362 361.

Fire Danger Ratings

During the fire danger season check each night to see if a Total Fire Ban has been issued for the following day, and what the Fire Danger Rating is predicted to be for you area.

The CFS issues the Fire Danger Rating for each Fire Ban District after 4.00 pm each day.

Extreme heat warning

During an extreme heat event, emergency services will provide as much information as possible through a variety of methods.

The State Emergency Service (SES) issues an Extreme Weather Warning when the BOM forecast for Adelaide is for three or more consecutive days with an Average Daily Temperature (ADT) of 32°C or above (for example, an average of 40°C daytime and 24°C overnight). The warning is issued for the state, although it’s not always applicable for all regions.

Stay informed

Check warnings and advice from:

Keep up to date with weather information from BOM:

Extreme storm warning

During an extreme storm, emergency services will provide as much information as possible through a variety of methods.

The State Emergency Service (SES) and Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) issue a Severe Weather Warning for events that could include one or more of the following:

  • heavy rainfall likely to cause flash flooding
  • damaging winds
  • abnormally high tides likely to cause coastal flooding.

These events are usually of longer duration and can extend over a greater area than severe thunderstorms, which typically are short in duration and extend over a limited area.

Stay informed

Check warnings and advice from:

Keep up to date with the local seven-day weather forecast - www.bom.gov.au.

Flood warning

Before a flood occurs, it is important to be aware of flood warnings that might be issued before and during a flood. In South Australia different types of warnings are issued by different agencies. These include warnings from the State Emergency Service (SES) and the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM).

SES warnings

The SES has a three-stage warning system for flood. Warnings will be issued after the flood has been reported, according to the speed, size and the level of threat it presents to the community. Warnings may not be issued sequentially, as listed below:

  • Advice: There is no immediate danger, keep up to date with developments.
  • Watch and Act: You need to take action now to protect your life and your family.
  • Emergency Warning: You are in danger and need to take action immediately.

The SES will issue flood warnings when there is:

  • a flash flood or flooding is imminent, and
  • flooding is likely to cut evacuation routes or inundate property.

BOM warnings

Learn about the BOM flood warning system.

Stay informed

Check warnings and advice from:

Keep up to date with the local seven-day weather forecast - www.bom.gov.au.

Other warning systems

Warnings are issued to inform and keep the community safe during incidents including flu outbreaks, power outages and road conditions.

Animal disease

Visit the Primary Industries and Regions, SA (PIRSA) website for alerts and news.

Register for biosecurity alerts with outbreak.gov.au.

Flu outbreaks

If there is flu outbreak you'll be able to get updates from the SA Health website or radio and television news services.

If you’re travelling overseas, visit the Smartraveller website and subscribe to updates.

Plant disease

Visit the Primary Industries and Regions, SA (PIRSA) website for alerts and news.

Register for biosecurity alerts with outbreak.gov.au.

Power outages

Check with SA Power Networks if your power is off - current power interruptions online or phone 13 13 66.

Register with SA Power Networks’ free messaging service, Power@MyPlace to get SMS or email power outage alerts. The alerts will tell you:

  • if SA Power Networks is aware that the power is out in your suburb
  • the estimated time until the power will be restored
  • when the power is restored.

During periods of prolonged or widespread power outages, SA Power Networks will broadcast updates on your local ABC radio station.

Road conditions

For road conditions check:

Terrorist incidents

The Australian National Security issues information about the current threat level and will provide the public with advice on changes to the current terrorism threat level. This includes:

  • what the threat level means
  • where the threat is coming from
  • potential targets.

In the event of a local threat, information will also be published on the SA Police website, and through radio and television news services.

If you are planning to travel overseas and are concerned about your safety, visit the Smartraveller website for the government’s official risk advice. On the Smartraveller website you can also sign-up to get security updates for the countries you're visiting.

Public transport disruptions

In Adelaide, contact Adelaide Metro for disruptions to bus, train and tram services:

In country locations, contact your local council for disruptions to any services they offer.

Related information

Other websites

Warnings and alerts published on ABC emergency - ABC


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Provided by: SAFECOM
Page last updated 3 March 2017

Provided by:
SAFECOM
URL:
https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/emergencies-and-safety/during-an-emergency/emergency-warnings
Last Updated:
03/03/17
Printed on:
23/10/17
Copyright statement:
SA.GOV.AU is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence. © Copyright 2016