Australian Warning System
The rollout of Australia’s new emergency warning system
The Australian Warning System is a new national approach to information and warnings for hazards like bushfire, flood, storm, cyclone, extreme heat and severe weather, with the same three alert levels across all states and territories.
The Australian Warning System, developed by a working group at the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC), has been designed based on feedback and research across the country and aims to deliver a more consistent approach to emergency warnings, no matter where you are. It uses a nationally consistent set of icons to show incidents on websites and apps, supported by calls to action.
There are three warning levels:
Advice: An incident has started. There is no immediate danger. Stay up to date in case the situation changes.
Watch and Act: There is a heightened level of threat. Conditions are changing and you need to start taking action now to protect you and your family.
Emergency Warning: An Emergency Warning is the highest level of warning. You may be in danger and need to take action immediately. Any delay now puts your life at risk.
Australian Warning System icons
Calls to Action
Each warning level has a set of action statements to give the community clearer advice about what to do. Calls to Action can be used flexibly across all three warning levels, and contextualised for each hazard within each state or territory.
- Prepare now
- Stay informed
- Monitor conditions
- Stay informed/threat is reduced
- Avoid the area
Watch and Act
- Prepare to leave/evacuate
- Leave/evacuate now (if you are not prepared)
- Prepare to take shelter
- Move/stay indoors
- Stay near shelter
- Walk two or more streets back
- Monitor conditions as they are changing
- Be aware of ember attack
- Move to higher ground (away from creeks/rivers/coast)
- Limit time outside (cyclone, heat, asthma)
- Avoid the area/avoid the flooded area
- Stay away from damaged buildings and other hazards
- Prepare for isolation
- Protect yourself against the impacts of extreme heat
- Do not enter flood water
- Leave/evacuate (immediately, by am/pm/hazard timing)
- Seek/take shelter now
- Shelter indoors now
- Too late/dangerous to leave
Your guide to Australia’s new, clearer emergency warnings (ABC Emergency)
Warnings Collection (AIDR Knowledge Hub)