Emergency Alert. Be Warned. Be Informed.

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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 or your mobile phone was switched off or not in coverage. 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.

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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.

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?


Emergency Alert can send text messages based on both the registered service address of a mobile phone and the last known location of the handset at the time of the emergency. This includes visitors and people travelling in the area.

The location based service relies on each carrier to detect and locate every mobile phone with a last known location within the warning area set by the emergency services.

Since January 2014, Telstra has provided the location based service across its networks, including 4G.

Previously, this was only available on Optus and Vodafone’s 2G / 3G networks however, both networks now provide the service on their 4G networks.

This includes Telstra, Optus and Vodafone’s wholesale partners who resell the carriers’ 4G networks.

All 4G mobiles revert to the 2G/3G networks when outside 4G coverage.

What happens if you have a NBN voice over IP phone?

Fixed line telephones connected to the NBN no longer use the traditional copper network and use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) as the connection medium into the telephone network, a data connection.

All the calls go through the modem connected to the internet which is powered by a connection to the site/house power. If the power to the house or the modem is off, this fixed line phone will also be off and not work. Therefore Emergency Alert messages to the phone will not be received.

What can you do?

You can purchase a backup power supply for the modem which can be arranged through the internet provider. This will be a battery device that will provide power for a fixed period of time during the power outage.Talk with your internet provider.

How does the system work for landlines?

The Emergency Alert system issues a recorded voice message to landline telephones within a geographical warning area selected by the emergency services. If the telephone call goes unanswered, the Emergency Alert system will make a second attempt to deliver the warning message to the landline telephone.

The registered service address and telephone number comes from the Integrated Public Number Database, which contains all public and private phone numbers in Australia.

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