During an Emergency​

Being prepared is the best thing you and your clients can do to reduce the effects of an emergency. Clients with a plan and arrangements in place with family, friends and service providers will be better able to act.

Your clients should not rely on emergency services coming to their door or warning them by phone and text message. The emergency services may be too busy dealing with the emergency or things might be happening too fast for a warning. Your clients will need to be prepared and equipped to manage themselves and may have to choose when to evacuate. They will be more confident if they have thought about and planned this in advance.

The safest option in an emergency is to be away from the danger or threat. In severe weather this may mean seeking shelter inside a sturdy building, in a flood or bushfire this may mean leaving the potentially affected area before access is cut, in a house or building fire this may mean leaving the building and moving to an assembly area a safe distance from the fire. Use your judgement and if available, follow advice from emergency services.

Your clients may be told to evacuate, and it's important that they know where they will go. The best option is to go to family or friends when possible, or to alternate accommodation. Evacuation centres may open temporarily to provide the necessities, like food or shelter, for people who can't use their own resources or networks. But they may not be the best places to meet your clients' needs.

Your clients can use smart phone apps, radio, TV, websites and social media to get information during an emergency. Their neighbours and other people nearby may also be able to provide information.

Emergency services may use Emergency Alert to send voice messages to landlines and text messages to mobile phones about likely or actual emergencies in the area.

Emergency Alert is just one way of warning communities and will not always be used. It relies on telecommunications networks, and message delivery can't be guaranteed. Your client may not receive a text message on their mobile phone if their inbox is full, their phone is switched off or not in coverage, or their service provider connects to a 4G network that is not fully compatible with Emergency Alert.

Tip: be proactive

During a disaster help may not come. Your clients need to be prepared to look after themselves.In any type of emergency, a calm response and a common sense approach could save your client's life, or the lives of others. Tell your clients to:

Act on their plan but be flexible and adapt it when necessary.
Be aware of what's going on around them.
Be proactive and seek information - don't just wait to receive it.
Evacuate if necessary and evacuate early.

​What the 'Migration Support Program' does

When signing up new clients, the Red Cross refugee programs teach them about calling Triple Zero (000).