Information on the current terrorism threat level is published on the Australian National Security website.
In the event of an attack - ESCAPE. HIDE. TELL
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 - look, listen and report.
Suspicious or unusual behaviour
Every piece of information received by the authorities is useful. It is often the smallest details that make the difference.
Types of suspicious or unusual behaviour 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.
If you see or hear something suspicious report it to:
- National Security Hotline 1800 123 400
- SA Police 131 444 or a police officer
- Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000.
All information remains confidential and you can remain anonymous.
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.
Crowded places self-assessment
If you are the owner or operator of a place where large groups of people gather, you are encouraged to complete:
During a terrorist attack
Attacks involving weapons
Attacks involving weapons such as guns or knives are one of the most common types of attack and in these situations ESCAPE. HIDE. TELL is the best advice to follow.
- ESCAPE – move quickly and quietly away from danger, but only if it is safe to do so.
- HIDE – stay out of sight and silence your mobile phone.
- TELL – call the police by dialling Triple Zero (000) when it is safe.
Find out more about dealing with different situations.
Attacks involving explosions, chemicals or vehicles
If you find yourself in an attack involving an improvised explosive device, chemical weapons or a vehicle you may need to consider different actions.
Find out more about attacks involving explosions, chemicals or vehicles
When police arrive, follow their instructions.
Find out more about police response.
Bombs and suspicious packages
If you receive a bomb threat over the phone:
- stay calm
- don't panic or make return threats
- listen for any identifying information from the caller eg gender, age, background noises
- ask the caller:
- what the threat is
- when the threat may be carried out
- where the threat may be located
- keep the person talking as long as possible to obtain as much information as possible
- once the call is finished do not hang up as it may be possible to trace the call
- write down the information
- call Triple Zero (000) and ask for police
- if you are at work, inform management
- evacuate if considered necessary.
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
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, tilt or tamper with the package
- 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
- wait in a safe place until emergency services arrive, and follow their instructions.
If you think the package may contain dangerous chemicals:
- if possible wash your hands with soap and water
- if you experience any immediate physical symptoms call Triple Zero (000) and ask for ambulance.
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 against 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