Basic first steps

If an emergency occurs where life or property is threatened, there are a number of things you can do

  • Phone 000 for police, fire and ambulance (dial 106 through TTY if you have a speech or hearing impairment) to request attendance by emergency services. DO NOT assume others will do this
  • For SES attendance phone 132 500
  • DO NOT phone 000 for information; the operator will not be able to provide it
  • During an emergency, do not wait for emergency workers to knock on your door – seek out information from reliable sources
  • Check for injuries (attend to your own injuries first so you can help others)
  • Seek medical assistance then consider the basic first aid tips until professional medical assistance arrives
  • Ensure your family and neighbours are safe, especially the elderly and those with disability or who may not understand English well
  • Phone your out-of-town contact but keep the conversation short to free up the lines for others
  • Check for damage to your home (i.e. fires, gas leaks) and shut off electricity, gas and water if necessary. In darkness, use a torch to find them - DO NOT light matches or candles or turn on electrical switches
  • You may be advised to stay in your house or evacuate, in either case, follow the advice given by emergency services as it will be tailored to the circumstances
  • Should evacuation be advised, take all your prescribed medications (and repeat prescriptions), identification, credit/ key cards and cash as part of your emergency kit

Seek reliable information about what is happening and advice from emergency services.

This information may be provided

  • In person by emergency services at the scene
  • Via radio (ABC 774AM) or television
  • By telephone from call centres set up to advise people about the specific event (these will be broadcast over radio and television).
  • Via the website