Emergency preparation

Understand your risks in an emergency or disaster

Understanding the types disasters that are likely to occur in your local area will help you decide which emergencies are a risk to you so you can start your emergency preparation.

Main risks in South Australia

The major types of emergencies that have been identified for SA are:

  • animal and plant disease
  • bushfire
  • chemical emergency
  • earthquake
  • extreme heat
  • extreme storm
  • flood
  • house fire
  • human disease
  • terrorism
  • utility outages.

Your local risks

Find out if your local area is prone to specific emergencies and how often they are likely to occur:

Bushfire risk

All people living in suburban fringe areas of Adelaide and regional South Australia are at risk of bushfire.

The bushfire risk areas in South Australia cover:

  • more than 35 suburbs in Adelaide's fringes
  • more than 75 towns in the Adelaide Hills, Kangaroo Island and other rural areas.

You can use the South Australia Country Fire Service (CFS) Bushfire risk status map and the Household self-assessment tool to find out if you live, work or travel in a bushfire-risk area.

Earthquake risk

While Australia has a low degree of seismic activity by world standards, Adelaide has the highest relative earthquake risk of all Australian capital cities.

Since 1836, South Australia has recorded six earthquakes with a magnitude level of 5.0 or greater on the (Richter Scale). Three of these earthquakes caused some damage to Adelaide.

Refer to the SA Department for Energy and Mining for further information on earthquake risks.

Flood risk

Floods can occur almost anywhere in South Australia and impact anyone. Everyone is at risk from flash flooding. People who live close to a creek, river, major storm water drain or in a low‐lying area are also at risk from flooding.

To find out if you live, work or travel in flood prone areas, refer to the:

Maps haven't been produced for all areas in the state. This doesn't mean that there isn't a flood risk, just that a flood study hasn't been done for that location.

Further information can be obtained from:

  • talking to neighbours and your local council about past flood events
  • contacting the South Australian State Emergency Service (SES)
  • requesting historical flood records from the Bureau of Meteorology.

Terrorism risk

Be aware of the current National Threat Level for the likelihood of an act of terrorism occurring in Australia.

When the threat level changes, the Australian government provides advice on what the threat level means, where the threat is coming from, potential targets and how a terrorist act may be carried out.

The threat levels are:

  • Certain
  • Expected
  • Probable
  • Possible
  • Not expected.

The Australian government regularly reviews the security environment and the threat level.

Local threats

For information about local threats—as they occur—visit the South Australia Police (SAPOL) news website. You can join up to receive email news alerts which will include information about terrorist threats.

Crowded places self-assessment tool

If you are hosting or running a major event use SAPOL's online self-assessment tool to find out if your event is an attractive target for a terrorist attack. Once the assessment is completed, SAPOL will follow-up with guidance materials and advice on your security plans.

Related information

On this site

Types of emergency

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Provided by: SAFECOM
Page last updated 8 November 2018

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