One of the recommendations from the 2020 Bushfires Royal Commission was the need for a national all-hazard warning system.
As a result, Victoria is implementing the new Australian Warning System. This is a national approach to community information and warnings during emergencies and natural disasters such as bushfire, flood, storm, extreme heat and severe weather.
It means that wherever you are in Australia, you will see consistent messaging and icons about warnings.
The new system was designed based on feedback and research across the country, where more than 14,000 people were surveyed or interviewed about improvements that would make warnings clearer, and lead people to take action during emergencies.
From this month, five new hazard icons for warnings will appear on the VicEmergency website – emergency.vic.gov.au – and the VicEmergency app. They are very similar to our existing icons but for fire, for example, you will see a flame, for severe storms you will see a lightning cloud, and for flood it’s a house and water. There will be no other changes to our warnings this fire season.
Next year the remaining elements of the Australian Warning System will be progressively rolled out. It will be a three-tier system of Advice, Watch and Act, and Emergency Warning, with each warning having a call-to-action statement in the headline to make it clear what action community members should take.