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 in SA are:

  • animal and plant disease
  • bushfire
  • chemical emergency
  • earthquake
  • heatwave
  • 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:

  • contact emergency services and your local council
  • contact your insurance company
  • talk to local people who have been in your area for a long time
  • use the Australian Disaster Resilience national disaster map to trace the history of different types of disasters in your area.

Bushfire risk

If you answer 'yes' to any these questions your safety may be at risk if a bushfire happens near you:

  • My local area has a history of bushfires.
  • I live in or near bushland, grassland, forest, paddocks, scrub or heathlands.
  • I have many trees and shrubs around my home.
  • My home is built on a slope.
  • I need to travel through bushland to leave home.
  • My children go to school in a bushfire risk area, or travel through one on their way.
  • I don't have a written Bushfire Survival Plan, or it is more than one-year-old.

Today's bushfire conditions map - SA Country Fire Service (CFS)

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.

Use the:

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 South Australia Police (SAPOL) news. You can join up to receive email news alerts which will include information about terrorist threats.

Crowded places self-assessment tool

If you are the owner or operator of a place where large groups of people gather, you are encouraged to complete:

  • a self-assessment from SA Police to help inform you of how attractive your crowded place may be to terrorists
  • a crowded places security audit to assess the security of a crowded place and how protected it may be from a terrorist attack.

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Provided by: SAFECOM
Page last updated 21 October 2021

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