Australia — The first live trial of a new emergency warning system to prevent a WA version of this year’s fatal Victorian bushfires took place today.
More than 800 properties in the Bedfordale area took part in the system test of StateAlert, which saw messages sent to landlines and mobile phones registered to households or buildings within the test area.
The provision of an emergency warning system to alert local communities was one of the key recommendations in an interim report released this week by the royal commission into Australia’s worst ever natural disaster, January’s Victoria bushfires.
At today’s StateAlert unveiling, Police and Emergency Services Minister Rob Johnson said WA was well ahead of the rest of the nation in developing an effective emergency warning system in preparation for this years bushfire season.
While other states are still discussing the introduction of community warning systems, WAs emergency services are well ahead of the pack in developing and operating a new warning system.
StateAlert has been developed by the Fire and Emergency Services Authority (FESA) and WA Police to help send potentially lifesaving warnings to communities where lives may be at risk from a rapidly developing emergency.
StateAlert can send an alert to an area as small as a suburban block through to an entire local government shire.
This new technology is just one of a range of tools used to warn the public.
It will only be used for life-threatening emergencies and where there is sufficient time to send a warning.
The system includes reporting technology that will inform authorities on whether the messages were successfully sent and received, but authorities are also keen to obtain feedback from trial participants about the message information.