New $3m digital bushfire and emergency warning system rebuilt for summer 2014

New $3m digital bushfire and emergency warning system rebuilt for summer 2014

16 December 2013

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Australia — A BUSHFIRE warning app and emergency website have been rebuilt to warn Victorians of danger via smartphones, tablets or computers this summer.

Authorities are confident the new $3 million system, which has been tested to cope with millions of users at any time, will withstand demand after last summer’s bugs were ironed out.

Despite the advance in technology, fire authorities are warning Victorians they should not be complacent this summer and should prepare to “leave and live” during extreme conditions.

Emergency Services Minister Kim Wells said a wet spring did not mean the risks of fire had been dampened.

“We live in one of the world’s most fire-prone areas and Victorians cannot afford to be complacent when it comes to fire,” he said.

A $3.5 million advertising campaign has been booked to run over summer to ram home the message.

Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley said the new website was a useful tool for households, but should be used in conjunction with other emergency services messages from radio, television, newspapers or mobile phones.

He said the architecture of the FireReady app had been rebuilt and separated from the website, meaning authorities were confident it would not crash like in January.

The VicEmergency website can cope with 2.4 million “push messages” every minute, while the app has been designed to be used by one million devices.

“We’ve got the latest technology and rigorous processes to provide what we need to the Victorian community,” Mr Lapsley said.

The new website includes warnings about all emergencies, such as floods or earthquakes.

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