The Department of Health and the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) have partnered to customise the Emergency WA website platform for future community COVID-19 alerts and warnings.
Managed by DFES, Emergency WA is the State’s official website for community warnings for a range of emergencies – delivering real-time information during bushfires, cyclones, floods and more.
Emergency WA’s map-based display provides vital information to help people in impacted areas make informed decisions for their safety.
The platform can now be used to provide geographically targeted information to communities affected by a localised outbreak of COVID-19.
It has a high level of existing awareness and community following, which makes it an ideal communications tool to provide public health messaging in the event of a community outbreak.
As part of the customisation, a ‘human pandemic’ icon has been created to identify alerts and warnings specific to COVID-19.
This partnership and customisation are part of the Department of Health’s State Health Incident Coordination Centre’s preparation and preparedness for future potential outbreaks and community transmission of COVID-19 in Western Australia.
The human pandemic listing and filter is now visible on the Emergency WA website.
If required, the Department of Health has also investigated the use of and access to the national Emergency Alert telephone warning system, which delivers emergency messages to fixed phone lines and mobile phones in a defined area. This service is used by DFES in situations where there is a direct and imminent threat to lives and properties.
As stated by Health Minister Roger Cook:
“The ability to use the Emergency WA platform for COVID-19 messaging adds another important string to our bow in communicating information to the WA community.
“If we have learned anything about COVID-19, it is that it is a constantly evolving situation, which means fast, clear and consistent public information is vital.
“While I sincerely hope we do not have cause to issue COVID-19 outbreak warnings on Emergency WA, I encourage all Western Australians to visit Emergency WA so they are comfortable with how it works.”
As stated by Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan:
“Emergency WA has been helping keep Western Australians safe with access to critical emergency information, including map-based warnings, for more than four years.
“It is a logical step to use this established platform to immediately send warnings and instructions if required during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I commend the Department of Health and the Department of Fire and Emergency Services for collaborating on this important project and providing another avenue for Western Australians to get timely and reliable information on COVID-19.”