Hazard warning apps

As you may have seen in the news, bush fire season in Australia is well and truely underway. Apart from the fires in NSW and Queensland, there have been fire warnings elsewhere. There’s a catastrophic fire danger alert today here in South Australia with temperatures getting to 42C and winds picking up.

Just wondering what alerting apps anybody uses for hazards such as this. The AlertSA app and website were withdrawn a couple of years ago as it could not cope with the load; the replacement isn’t ready yet. Personally, I keep an eye on CFS (Country Fire Service) Twitter feed. I am fortunate to not live near a fire danger area, but have friends and relatives who do.


We live just outside Wodonga, Victoria. Grass paddocks within 100 metres on all sides. Tree covered hills on two sides, well within 3kms. Ember attack would be a concern. Lived in Beechworth Vic during 2009 Black Saturday fires. And, I’m a CFA volunteer firefighter (at 69, do more IT and support than fire fighting).
We use the VicEmergency App for warnings, which last season worked well. Also, CFA (Victoria Country Fire Service) and SES (Victoria State Emergency Service) websites provide info on warnings. Hopefully SA CFS and SES provide similar.
The other thing that started after the 2009 fires is statewide warnings via mobile. These warnings go to all phones connected to specific towers. Took them a couple of years to perfect it, but it seems to work well now.
Sad story from 2009. A mother tells how her adult son spent 7 hours on the internet watching the approaching fire (I believe it was the Marysville/Kinglake area) only to be trapped and killed with entire family, when they finally left. It ain’t worth it if you’re that worried.

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Yeah, I’m using Twitter to monitor CFS and SES - they are usually quite good. CFS has all alerts tweeted. SA Power Networks usually pretty good too. Nothing like a unified alert app though.

I guess I am not a fan of Twitter as an emergency message source. I think you will find most rural folks are not members of Twitter.
Use this link for CFS alerts. Advise any geeky friends to shut off any blocking, such as on Brave, so they actually see the alert info. https://www.cfs.sa.gov.au/site/home.jsp
Also, the mobile phone alert system is federal, for use by all states emergency services.

What’s mobile alert system? The CFS alerts on the site are the same as what appears on @cfsalerts on Twitter.

The Emergency Alert system is provided by the Australian Government to send text messages to mobile phones, and voice messages to landline phones, within defined areas where there is an on-going emergency. Each State uses the system as they want. http://www.emergencyalert.gov.au/

According to the following SA government webpage, SA does use this system to alert residents in areas under an emergency threat.

Living in Brisbane Queensland I signed up to the Brisbane City Council (BCC) alert service on their website. They will sms and email and call a land line(?) with alerts apparently. They also use the Weatherzone app. There is an ability in that app to use the same registration so apparently alerts will come through the app too. I had to enter the BCC settings.

I’ve only received emails so far about weather. So I’ll see how it goes. Nothing to be alerted about yet I think.

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Oh, so that is like the emergency warning system that broadcasts over the mobile network?

Sorry if I am confusing the issue. The system I am referring to is the [quote=“Pommster, post:8, topic:3994”]
emergency warning system that broadcasts over the mobile network

Gotcha. I was more after an app that will also show me the location of the incidents like the old AlertSA app did and apps that I believe will do in other states.

For a really busy app, try CFSScan and set it for CFS only. Really too much info for what you want.

That’s more or less the CFS Twitter feed.

A colleague is a CFS volunteer fire fighter and he sits with the feed visible (and his GRN radio)

I think it’s always wise to have a Twitter account, even if like me you only follow accounts that would mostly constitute a local community notice board. Their infrastructure is intended to cope with such enormous numbers of messages that it may be able to handle traffic peaks that would be difficult for purely local systems. It’s a viable backup for official messages, even if the “social” aspect is untrustworthy.