ESA to test telephone warning system

Released 02/05/2014

The ACT Emergency Services Agency (ESA) will conduct a test of the national telephone warning system known as EMERGENCY ALERT tomorrow (Saturday 3 May, 2014) in selected areas across Canberra.

"The EMERGENCY ALERT system was enhanced in 2013 to allow emergency services to target text messages towards specific locations on an expanded number of mobile phone networks," ESA Commissioner Dominic Lane said.

"The test will provide an opportunity to target a range of areas including the urban / rural interface, the inner city, a rural district, as well as an area with NBN coverage," he said.

Trained operators within the ESA and ACT Policing will target streets in the suburbs of Conder, Turner, O'Connor, Fadden, Gowrie, Macarthur, Gungahlin and also at the Cotter Reserve.

The test will begin at 12pm and scheduled to conclude at 4pm. The test message will clearly identify that the message is a test and recipients should not call Emergency Triple Zero (000).

"Recipients could receive either a recorded voice message to a landline or a text message to a mobile phone. They may also receive a combination of both message types on multiple handsets depending on the registered service address of the phone handset," Mr Lane said.

"Tomorrow, messages will be sent in a combination of ways that will test the different capabilities of the system and recipients will not be required to take any action," he said.

"Emergency Alert is not designed to be used as a stand-alone warning measure. The community cannot always rely on getting a telephone message from Emergency Service agencies during a crisis.

"People need to consider how they will receive information during emergencies, such as local radio, the ESA website and the ESA twitter and Facebook accounts. They also need to share information with their neighbours, family, friends and vulnerable people."

Further information on the EMERGENCY ALERT test is available on the ESA website or by calling Canberra Connect on 13 22 81.

- Statement ends -

Section: ACT Justice and Community Safety Directorate | Media Releases

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