Emergency Alert. Be Warned. Be Informed.

Only call Triple Zero (000) or dial TTY 106 if you are in critical need of emergency services (police, fire or ambulance)

This website does not contain emergency information or warnings.If you require emergency information, click on your State or Territory below.

You may receive emeregency alerts on your phone

Emergency Alert is the national telephone warning system used by emergency services to send voice messages to landlines and text messages to mobile phones within a defined area about likely or actual emergencies.

Emergency Alert is just one way of warning communities and will not be used in all circumstances. Emergency Alert relies on telecommunications networks to send messages, and message delivery cannot be guaranteed.

There are a range of reasons why you may not receive a text message on your mobile phone including your text message inbox was full, your mobile phone was switched off or not in coverage, or your service provider connects to Optus' or Vodafone's 4G networks that are not fully compatible with Emergency Alert. More information is provided in the Frequently Asked Questions.

Do not rely on receiving a warning message on your phone. You still need to prepare for an emergency and you should not wait to receive a warning before you act.

Choose your state on the map OR dropdown list below

WA SA NT QLD NSW ACT VIC TAS
View TV Campaign Videos
Visit Our YouTube Channel

Frequently asked questions

What is Emergency Alert?

Emergency Alert is the national telephone warning system.

It is one of many ways emergency services such as police, fire and emergency services, can warn a community of a likely or actual emergency.

Emergency Alert is not used in all circumstances. Whether emergency services decide to issue telephone warnings through Emergency Alert will depend on the nature of the incident.

The warning system sends voice messages to landline telephones and text messages to mobile telephones within a specific area defined by the emergency service organisation issuing the warning message, about likely or actual emergencies such as fire, flood, or extreme weather events.

You should not wait to receive a warning message before you act.

When is Emergency Alert used?

Whether emergency services decide to issue telephone warnings through Emergency Alert will depend on the nature of the incident.

Emergency Alert is not used in all circumstances. In an emergency you should use a range of information sources and check them continuously to stay aware of local conditions. These information sources may include radio, television and state or territory emergency services websites.

You should not wait to receive a warning message before you act.

What will the warning message say?

The warning message will provide information on the current emergency, what action to take and where to find further information.

Why didn’t I get the text (SMS) message?

 

You may not have received the text message on your mobile telephone for a number of reasons including:

  • your text message inbox was full
  • the emergency services chose other ways to warn people who may be in the affected area at the time of the emergency
  • your mobile telephone was switched off or was not in a mobile telephone coverage area
  • the last known location of your handset was not within the warning area at the time of the emergency
  • you have not updated your registered service address.

 

 

Will the messages be received by mobile phones on the 4G network?

The Emergency Alert Location Based Solution relies on the capability of each carrier to detect and locate every mobile with a last known location within the warning area set by the emergency services.

Since January 2014, Telstra’s 4G services are fully compatible with their Emergency Alert Location Based Solution.  Telstra’s 4G network reaches around 85 per cent of the Australian population and has extensive reach in rural and regional communities.

While Optus and Vodafone implemented Location Based Solutions for their 2G and 3G networks in 2013, they do not yet have Emergency Alert compatible technologies in place to detect 4G mobile phones connected to their 4G networks. This also affects Virgin Mobile’s 4G customers and Optus’ wholesale partners who resell the Optus 4G network including iiNet, Internode, Exetel, M2 (consisting of the Dodo, iPrimus and Commander brands), ACN, Blink, SpinTel, Jeenee Mobile, Live Connect and Vaya.

This means that, currently, Optus and Vodafone 4G customers may only receive a location-based Emergency Alert message when they are within a warning area covered by the two carriers’ 4G networks and they have made or received a call or sent or received a text in the hour before.  Such usage causes a 4G mobile to revert to the 2G/3G networks, where Optus’ and Vodafone’s Emergency Alert Location Based Solutions can detect its location.  Without such usage, Optus and Vodafone may not be able to detect a 4G mobile on their 4G networks for the purposes of Emergency Alert and, therefore, the 4G mobile will not receive the location-based warning message sent to all mobiles.

This also means that when an Optus or Vodafone 4G customer travels entirely within a 4G coverage area and does not make or receive a call or send or receive a text in the preceding hour, Optus and Vodafone may not be able to detect their position for the Emergency Alert Location Based Solution.  Consequently, should the customer enter a warning area within the 4G coverage when the emergency services send a location-based alert, they will not receive the message.

All 4G mobiles revert to the 2G/3G networks when outside 4G coverage.  As with Telstra, Optus and Vodafone can detect the location of all mobiles on their 2G/3G networks for the purposes of their Emergency Alert Location Based Solutions.

All 4G mobiles on the 4G networks provided by Telstra, Optus and Vodafone will continue to receive warnings when the emergency services use the registered service address function provided by Emergency Alert and the address is within the warning area.

Currently, Vodafone does not provide international roaming services on its 4G networks.  Therefore, overseas visitors with 4G mobiles can only connect to the 3G networks, and the current 4G capability gap on Vodafone’s 4G networks does not affect them.

Optus does allow international roaming on its 4G networks, which means international 4G customers are affected by the current incompatibility with location-based Emergency Alert.

Optus and Vodafone continue to work towards the introduction of 4G capabilities compatible with the location-based Emergency Alert.

Anyone wanting more information about 4G compatibility with Emergency Alert should talk to their mobile service provider. 

Read More