Public emergency information now at fingertips

Department of Fire and Emergency Services

This bushfire season, a new multi-hazard Emergency WA website will provide the community with better access to emergency warnings and maps on their mobile phones and digital devices.

Launched this week by Emergency Services Minister Joe Francis, the new ‘easy to use’ site emergency.wa.gov.au will provide faster and easier access to better quality information during emergencies in a format people can more easily understand.

The site will deliver a live feed of emergency incidents reported to the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) and feature map-based search and location functions. It will also include bushfire warnings and notices of prescribed burns from local governments and the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPW).

Emergency WA—as its central function—will post and update critical public alerts and warnings during fire, flood, storm, earthquake, tsunami and emergencies involving hazardous materials. The site allows users to, for the first time, zoom into and enlarge a map that locates incidents and the boundaries of warning areas. Additionally, search and filter options will help people find specific information about a developing incident such as a fire or storm that might affect their safety. The site will also host the latest Fire Danger Ratings and Total Fire Bans. Links to resources and other agencies are provided to help people plan, prepare and recover from natural disasters. This includes information from the Department of Health, marine safety advice from the Department of Transport and bushfire preparedness information previously accessed at 'areyouready.wa.gov.au'.

Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Wayne Gregson said, ‘Emergency WA had been developed in collaboration with DPW, the Bureau of Meteorology and Geoscience Australia to improve the delivery of high quality, relevant information to the public during emergencies such as bushfires. For the first time, the public will have access to a live feed of all incidents reported to DFES, meaning they can now find out about a fire as soon as we do. This will allow people and communities to remain vigilant, seek further information, and take action to ensure their safety.’

While new communication tools are now delivering information across multiple channels, Commissioner Gregson highlighted that it remains vital that individuals, businesses and communities checked a range of sources for information during emergencies. With another challenging season forecast, it is also vital that individuals, businesses and communities prepare now to protect their safety and property in the event of a bushfire.

‘Be aware of your surroundings, stay connected to your community, talk to your neighbours, listen to ABC radio bulletins and take action for your safety at the first sign of a fire or emergency. Preparing for bushfires is a shared responsibility between government, agencies and the community.

DFES staff and volunteers, alongside DPW, Western Power, local governments and their volunteer firefighters are working hard to prepare for the season ahead—we need everyone to play their part to ensure they are bushfire ready,’ Mr Gregson said.

Visit Emergency WA at emergency.wa.gov.au for information about how to prepare for bushfire season and to keep up to date when emergencies occur.

For more information on how other agencies can take advantage of this new system to distribute important community information should contact DFES Media and Corporate Communications emergencywa@dfes.wa.gov.au on 9225 5955.