Australia could experience domestic acts of terrorism. You should always remain alert for suspicious behaviour.
Acts of terrorism include:
- bomb threats
- random acts of violence against individuals
- indiscriminate or mass shootings
- cyber attacks
- threats of terrorism.
Be prepared for a terrorist incident
Terrorist attacks are usually sudden with little or no warning.
Knowing what to do in emergency situations will help you cope in the event of a terrorist attack. As part of your preparation you should:
- be alert:
- scan the environment
- be aware of your surroundings
- make eye contact with people around you
- avoid distractions - eg too loud music on your portable device and preoccupation with your mobile phone
- understand your risks from a terrorist incident
- have an emergency plan
- know first aid
- think about your emotional and physical preparation
- think about looking after others
- know what to do during and after a terrorist attack.
Report suspicious activity
Types of suspicious activity includes:
- unusual videotaping or photography of official buildings or other critical infrastructure
- suspicious vehicles near significant buildings in busy public places
- suspicious accommodation needs
- unusual purchases of large quantities of fertiliser, chemicals or explosives
- false or multiple identities
- unattended bags.
Report suspicious activity to:
- National Security Hotline 1800 123 400
- SA Police 131 444.
If it is a life-threatening situation call Triple Zero (000) and ask for Police.
The Australian government 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.
During a terrorist attack
If you realise an attack is underway, stay calm. Look around you to see what is happening and determine what immediate steps you can take to protect yourself and others. You should:
- follow instructions from emergency officers - evacuate or stay where you are until it is safe to leave
- if appropriate implement your emergency plan and notify your emergency contact of your location and situation
- stay informed and listen to official reports and instructions on the radio and television.
If you receive a bomb threat
If you receive a bomb threat call stay calm and follow the Australian Federal Police phone bomb-threat checklist.
If you receive a suspicious package
If you receive a package that appears out of the ordinary - eg from an unknown source, is badly wrapped or addressed, has oily stains, or excessive weight:
- don't open it
- leave the package where it is and immediately clear the area
- call Triple Zero (000) and ask for Police
- if applicable, alert the building security staff or floor fire warden
- if possible wash your hands with soap and water
- wait in a safe place until emergency services arrive, and follow their instructions
- if you experience any immediate physical symptoms call Triple Zero (000) and ask for Ambulance.
If a bomb explodes
- call Triple Zero (000) and ask for Police or Ambulance
- protect yourself from falling debris
- get to an open space or protected area quickly and calmly
- stay away from tall buildings, glass windows and parked vehicles
- follow instructions from emergency services
- remember that an explosion may affect your hearing.
If you are caught in a fire
- stay low to the floor, as smoke and heat rises
- use the emergency exit to get out of the building quickly and safely
- don't use the lift.
Further information - House fire
After a terrorist incident
Follow your emergency plan and look at the after an emergency information on this site for all types of hazards.
It is an offence for Australians to intentionally enter, or remain in, a declared area in a foreign country, where a listed terrorist organisation is engaged in hostile activity. Information about declared areas is available on the Australian National Security website.
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
- register your travel plans
- find information about travel insurance.
Assistance to victims of terrorism
Through the Australian Victim of Terrorism Overseas Payment, the Australian government will provide financial assistance to Australian residents who are harmed as a direct result of declared terrorist acts. For further information refer to the Department of Human Services website.
House and content insurance policies normally don't cover you again terrorist attacks.
In addition, most travel insurance policies will not cover claims arising from events in countries where the Australian government advises against travel due to threats of terrorism or civil unrest.
Guide to travel insurance - Smartraveller.