SA to trial bushfire warning system

SA to trial bushfire warning system

4 December 2009

published by

Australia —

South Australia is set to trial a new phone-based bushfire and emergency warning system with plans to go live across the state before Christmas.

The system allows for text or voice messages to be sent to mobile phones and landlines in the event of a life-threatening emergency.

A full trial of Alert SA will be conducted on Kangaroo Island over three days next week.

Emergency Services Minister Michael Wright said the trial would provide detailed information on how the system works and what improvements could be made.

“An enormous amount of work has been invested in the technology, which can deliver up to 1,000 landline voice messages per minute and up to 300 text messages per second,” Mr Wright said on Friday.

The South Australian government has spent $12.4 million on the new system, which follows the Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria earlier this year.

However, Mr Wright said it was important that people did not rely on any one form of warning during a bushfire or other emergency.

“The very nature of emergencies is that they are unpredictable and it may not always be possible to warn people by telephone of immediate danger,” he said.

“A fire may have damaged phone infrastructure or may be moving too fast, so you may not receive a telephone message.

“People must still prepare, still tune in to the media and use the current systems to ensure they are informed.”

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