During a natural disaster, help may not come - be prepared to look after yourself. Remember, no matter what the emergency, a calm response and a common sense approach could save your life, or the lives of others.
- Act on your Personal Emergency Plan, but be flexible and adapt it when you need to.
- Be aware of what is going on around you.
- Evacuate if necessary.
- Stay informed - Monitor traditional media sources (TV, radio, etc) and social media.
- Take care of your pets and livestock.
In some emergencies, the safest action is to “stay inside”, but in other circumstances it can be safer to leave a building or evacuate an entire area. The appropriate action depends on the particular hazard causing the emergency. Authorities may ask you to evacuate your home or remain inside your building and these instructions may come from emergency service personnel, other authorised personnel or a building warden if you live in an apartment. You may also hear instructions on your local radio.
If you leave
If you have time before your leave, you should:
- Turn off power, gas, water, lock doors and windows.
- Take your home emergency kit with you.
- Stay informed. Listen for emergency warnings and safety advice on radio and television, follow social media, and monitor websites. Pay special attention if you receive an Emergency Alert Message or hear the Standard Emergency Warning Signal (SEWS).
Emergency Alert Telephone Warning System
The Emergency Alert telephone warning system is one of a number of ways the community can be warned of an emergency threat or emergency situation. However, do not rely on receiving a warning message on your phone. You still need to prepare for an emergency and you should not wait to receive a warning before you act.
Emergency Alert is the national telephone warning system used by emergency services to send voice messages to landlines and text messages to mobile phones within a defined area about likely or actual emergencies. Emergency service agencies decide when they will use Emergency Alert. It is just one way of warning communities.
Standard Emergency Warning Signal (SEWS)
SEWS is a distinctive “sound” broadcast over radio and television and will be used immediately before an urgent safety message. Following the signal, there will be a message – pay immediate attention, listen to the announcement, and follow any instructions. SEWS is part of a coordinated national emergency plan with the audio signal adopted to alert the community to an urgent safety message relating to an identified emergency such as a flood, fire or earthquake aftershocks.