How might you be warned of an emergency or natural disaster?
Warnings are issued at different stages of a disaster to advise people in affected areas of the level of threat from a disaster and the appropriate actions to take.
The following are the different types of warnings, the issuing authority and the threat level:
- Severe Weather Warnings (Bureau of Meteorology)
Severe Weather Warnings are provided for potentially hazardous or dangerous weather that is not directly related to severe thunderstorms, tropical cyclones or bushfires. They are issued for sustained winds of gale force; wind gusts of 90km/h or more; very heavy rain that may lead to flash flooding; abnormally high tides; unusually large surf waves expected to cause dangerous conditions and widespread blizzards in Alpine areas.
- Severe Thunderstorm Warnings (Bureau of Meteorology)
Severe Thunderstorm Warning is issued if the severe phenomena are directly caused by the thunderstorm and include wind gusts of 90km/h or more; gale force winds; tornados; blizzards\ heavy rainfall that is conducive to flash flooding; hail with a diameter of at least 2cm; abnormally high tides and unusually large surf waves expected to cause dangerous conditions on the coast.
- Cyclone Watch (Bureau of Meteorology)
Cyclone Watch is issued if a cyclone is expected to affect coastal communities within 48 hours, but not expected within 24 hours.
- Cyclone Warning (Bureau of Meteorology)
Cyclone Warning is issued if a cyclone is expected to affect coastal communities within 24 hours
- Smoke and Fire alarms
Warnings may be issued in a variety of ways including through mass media (ABC Radio). On agency websites and social media. Evacuation may be advised to businesses and residents via door knock, phone call or text messages.
You may not always receive a formal warning so it is important to be aware of the situation around you by listening to the radio. If it feels unsafe, act early and move away from the threat to a safe location.