Emergency warnings

The ACT Emergency Services Agency (ESA) provides emergency information, advice and warnings to the community in a number of ways.

Emergency warnings

This can be through local ACT electronic media outlets, this website, social media, Access Canberra and in some cases doorknocking if the situation and circumstances warrants it.

The ESA has MOU’s (Memorandum of understanding) in place with all local ACT electronic media outlets to ensure the timely and accurate dissemination of emergency information and warnings 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

A system is also in place to ensure real time publishing of emergency information and warnings to this website and the ESA Twitter and Facebook accounts no matter what time of the day or night it is.

The ACT has also implemented the new national telephone warning system, Emergency Alert.

The ESA may issue a specific Bushfire Warning Message under the nationally agreed and used three level bushfire alert system if a significant bushfire starts in the ACT.

Emergency Alert

Emergency Alert

Receiving Emergency Warnings by Telephone in the ACT

Australia’s telephone-based emergency warning system is called Emergency Alert. Emergency Alert issues warnings to landline telephones and mobile phones linked to registered service addresses (properties and houses) or mobile phones registered with mobile phone towers identified in a geographical area affected by an emergency. Whether an emergency service agency decides to issue telephone warnings through Emergency Alert will depend on the nature of the incident. An Emergency Alert message may advise you to evacuate an area, stay inside your home or provide other instructions. If you receive an Emergency Alert warning it is important you follow the instructions in the message and seek further information and updates via:

Emergency Alert is not designed to be used as a stand-alone warning measure. Emergency Alert will be used to supplement other warnings provided through emergency personnel on the ground and through radio, internet, print and social media, television and the provision of information through Access Canberra. Emergency Alert is assigned the number of 0444 444 444 which will always be displayed in the message header or caller identification. To be able to receive Emergency Alert it is important that the registered service address of your landline or mobile phone is updated with your telephone carrier, otherwise you may not get Emergency Alerts. This is different to your billing address. Further Information about the Emergency Alert system, please visit:

Preparing your mobile phone for an Emergency

It is important to keep your mobile phone prepared in the event of an emergency. A mobile phone factsheet is available outlining the following information. Before an emergency you should consider:

  • Saving important phone numbers in your phone
  • Preparing a family contact sheet
  • Downloading informative smartphone apps or websites to your phone
  • Keeping charged batteries and car phone chargers available
  • Keep your service address updated with your carrier

During a disaster:

  • Only call 000 in an emergency
  • Use smartphones to view information at www.esa.act.gov.au
  • Call Access Canberra for information on 132281
  • If you have no power, recharge your phone when your car is started
  • Conserve your mobile phone battery by:
    • Not streaming data which may clog the network
    • Limiting the number and duration of calls and texts
    • Using a digital camera rather than your phone to take photos

Preparing your Home Emergency Kit and Plan

Preparing a Home Emergency Kit To ask a question, report an incident, make a complaint or provide feedback regarding Emergency Alert. Please fill out the form on the Access Canberra website.