New Australian Warning System ‘Will Help Save Lives’

New Australian Warning System ‘Will Help Save Lives’
A NSW RFS MBB-Kawasaki BK117B-2 Helicopter is seen at RAAF Base Richmond in Sydney, Australia on Oct. 23, 2020. (Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

The new Australian Warning System uses nationally consistent icons to show hazards on websites and apps, working on a three-tier scale from Advice to Emergency.

It’s hoped a new Australian Warning System will deliver more consistent safety messages and help save lives across the country.

The system uses a set of icons to show incidents on websites and apps that are supported by calls to action.

Emergency Management Minister David Littleproud says it delivers on the recommendations of the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements.

The commission was established in response to the extreme bushfire season of 2019/20 in which the firefighting effort stretched across the country.

“In the past Australians had been relying on different warning systems for different hazard types that varied across jurisdictions,” Littleproud said. "The new warnings have come into effect for bushfires in all jurisdictions except for Western Australia, which will adopt it in the near future.

“Warnings for other hazards such as floods, cyclones and heatwaves will be phased in over time,” he said.

The three warning levels are Advice (incident underway, no immediate danger), Watch and Act (conditions changing and heightened level of threat) and Emergency Warning (you may be in danger and need to take action immediately).

Littleproud commended the Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Authorities Council for the system’s development.

By Nick Gibbs