For some years, there have been different warning systems for different hazard types across Australia, this can be confusing. The Australian Warning System (AWS) is being introduced and gradually adopted by different states and territories. Over time people will know what to do when they see the same warnings, no matter where they are in the country or what type of emergency is occurring.
The AWS is a nationally consistent three level warning system for 5-hazards (bushfire, flood, storm, cyclone, and heat). States/Territories are implementing the AWS at different times subject to their risks and resources. In Tasmania, the AWS for bushfires was adopted in September 2021 by Tasmania Fire Service (TFS).
Following the adoption for flood emergencies from September 2022, there are plans to adopt the AWS for storm emergencies from 2023.
Messages in the warning symbols
The AWS three level waring system has been developed based on community research and provides a clear and consistent call to action message with each type of level allocated a specific name, colour, and symbol for the type of emergency.
An incident has started. There is no immediate danger. Stay up-to-date in case the situation changes. (May also be used to advise that a threat has reduced).
Watch and Act (Orange): 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 (Red):
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.
These warnings will describe the locations, expected or estimated impact, community information and include other relevant warnings. They will be issued with a distinct set of call-to-actions tailored to an emergency to advice people what to do.
Standard call-to-actions messages for fire and flood emergencies include the following:
|Advice||Watch and Act||Emergency Warning|
|Prepare now |
Monitor conditions Stay informed/threat is reduced
Avoid the area Return with caution
|Prepare to leave/evacuate |
Leave/evacuate now (if you are not prepared)
Prepare to take shelter
Stay near shelter
Walk two or more streets back
Monitor conditions as they are changing
Be aware of ember attacks (fire)
Move to higher ground (away from creeks/rivers/coast – flood)
Avoid the 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
The TFS Bushfire Warnings and SES Flood Warnings will be issued on the TasALERT website (TasALERT.com), you will also see the warnings on SES Facebook, TasALERT social media channels, and hear the warnings on ABC Radio.
For more information about the Australian Warning System, please visit: www.australianwarningsystem.com.au
Other warnings in Tasmania
Besides the Australian Warning System, there are other weather and incident warnings in Tasmania, such as shark sightings, tsunami and health emergency alerts, issued by other emergencies management authorities. Visit TasALERT.com, know the warnings so when the next incident comes you can make an informed decision about your safety and keep up-to-date on the current warnings issued in Tasmania.