The new VicEmergency app provides Victorians with access to warnings and incidents for fires, floods, storms, earthquake, tsunamis and water safety.
The VicEmergency app replaces the FireReady app and is now available to download from the App Store or Google Play.
The VicEmergency website emergency.vic.gov.au has also been upgraded and a new VicEmergency hotline released to ensure Victorians continue to receive the best possible emergency information this summer through a range of sources.
Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley said with warm weather on the way and storms and floods a regular feature in Victoria, now was the time to upgrade to the new VicEmergency app.
“As part of the transition to the new app, FireReady stopped sending emergency warnings and information at 9am today and will be turned off later this week,’’ he said.
“The new VicEmergency app and hotline is in line with our all communities, all emergencies approach and will work alongside the upgraded VicEmergency website to provide timely information about all emergencies.
“The VicEmergency app, hotline and website will come together this summer to provide the community with the best information so they can make the critical decisions about their own safety.
“Download the VicEmergency app now so you know how it works well before you need to use it.”
The VicEmergency app provides an improved user-experience with a range of new features, capabilities and design improvements.
Users can now create a profile so they can access watch zones across multiple devices including mobile phones, tablets and the VicEmergency website. For the first time, users can also register to receive warnings and notifications via email.
Another improvement to the VicEmergency app and website allows users to turn notifications on and off, enabling them to choose what information they want to receive and when.
Mr Lapsley said users of the new VicEmergency app and website could create up to 20 tailored watch zones that are unique to an individual’s needs.
“What this means is that users can set up watch zones for the area where they live, go on holiday or to monitor what is happening where friends and family are located,’’ he said.
“Setting up watch zones needs to become part of your summer preparedness planning. Watch zones enable users to target the areas that are relevant to them, so they can receive the critical emergency information that affects them.”
Existing FireReady users will need to set-up new watch zones on the VicEmergency app, as they will not transition across to the new platform.
The new VicEmergency app has built on the success of FireReady which was downloaded more than 1.2 million times and sent more than 2.7 billion notifications.
It has undergone significant performance testing using a number of critical scenarios and can send 1.2 million notifications per minute. It is also monitored 24/7 and has disaster recovery capability set up within Australia and overseas.
New features of the VicEmergency app include:
- Incident and warning notifications for all emergencies
- User profile that enables simultaneous access to watch zones and emergency notifications across multiple devices
- Creation of up to 20 watch zones tailored to individual locations and needs
- Ability to edit watch zones and turn notifications on and off.
- Screen view rotation to view the incident map horizontally
- Responsive design for iPads and tablet devices
- The VicEmergency website upgraded to create and edit watch zones and send email notifications
Mr Lapsley said a new VicEmergency hotline would also be used this summer to make it easier for the community to access emergency information through one number.
The VicEmergency Hotline 1800 226 226 will bring together all emergency numbers including the Victorian Bushfire Information Line, the Victorian Emergency Relief Information Line and the VICSES Flood and Storm Information Line.
“The VicEmergency website, app and hotline will provide a joined-up approach for Victorians to access timely information for a number of emergencies across multiple channels,’’ he said.
“Through having access to better information, we can make better decisions that result in better outcomes and a safer community.’’
The VicEmergency website, app and hotline brings together information and warnings from agencies including Country Fire Authority (CFA), Department of Economic Development and Transport and Resources (DEDJTR), Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Life Saving Victoria, Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB), and Victoria State Emergency Service (SES).
Victorians are reminded to know how to stay informed and to never rely on one source for emergency information.
Victorians can get emergency information from a number of sources including the VicEmergency app, www.emergency.vic.gov.au , tuning in to ABC radio or other emergency broadcasters including commercial and community radio stations or Sky TV or by phoning the VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226 and following VicEmergency on Facebook and Twitter.
For answers to common questions and app support, please visit support.emergency.vic.gov.au