VicEmergency changes align state and national warnings

15 December 2021
"Download the VicEmergency App" The app displaying on a mobile phone. Google Play and App Store logos.

A series of improvements have been made to the VicEmergency website, app and social media channels, in line with a national approach to emergency information and warnings. 

From this week, warnings on VicEmergency will use the nationally approved warning levels of Advice, Watch and Act and Emergency Warning, and also have an action statement, advising people exactly what to do in response to emergencies. 

The changes support the Australian Warning System, an agreement to align state and territories’ approach to issuing emergency warnings for the five major hazards of fire, flood, extreme heat, severe weather and cyclones. 

Victoria is the first state to adopt all aspects of the new system. 

The improvements follow two years of national community consultation and work with Victoria’s emergency response agencies. With the introduction of the Australian Warning System, cross-border residents and interstate visitors will interact , with the same warnings rather than have to navigate two separate systems. For a hazard that spans multiple states, the same icons, and warning level names and colours will be used. 

The move to a nationally aligned system was a recommendation from the 2020 Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements. 

Victorians will receive warnings in the same way, with the most important direction to be seen immediately, in the headline, helping the community make the right decision to protect themselves and others. 

Directions to ‘Evacuate Now’ and ‘Prepare to Evacuate’ were previously issued as their own warning levels, but will now be action statements under the Emergency Warning or Watch and Act levels. 

This will ensure the warning levels across Australia are aligned. 

Victorians are reminded to never rely on one channel for emergency information. Connect to official sources of emergency information, including: