Australian Warning System

Australia's warning system is changing

What is it?

The Australian Warning System (AWS) is a national approach to emergency information that delivers consistent warnings to Australian communities, so people know what they need to do to stay safe in an emergency, no matter where they are.

The AWS features standardised hazard warning icons and colours, with warnings supported by clear action statements.

Changes to cyclone, flood, storm and bushfire warnings will be rolled out in Western Australia in mid-2024.

Find out more about the AWS


An incident is active but there is no immediate threat to lives or homes.

Be aware and keep
up to date.


There is a possible threat
to lives or homes.

Take action now to protect yourself and others.


There is a threat to
lives and homes.

You may be in danger and need to take immediate action.

What is changing?

Until now there have been different warning systems for different hazard types across Australia. The AWS provides consistent warnings to Australian communities so people know what to do when they see a warning.

When fully implemented, bushfire, cyclone, flood and storm warnings will all share the same three level warning system using nationally consistent colours and icons.

Each warning level has a set of action statements to give the community clearer advice about what to do. Below are some action statements you might see with a warning.


Watch and Act

Emergency Warning

  • Prepare now
  • Stay informed
  • Monitor conditions
  • Stay informed/threat is reduced
  • Avoid the area
  • Return with caution
  • Avoid smoke
  • Prepare to leave/evacuate
  • Leave/evacuate now (if you are not prepared)
  • Prepare to take shelter
  • Move/stay indoors
  • Stay near shelter
  • Monitor conditions as they are changing
  • Be aware of ember attack
  • Move to higher ground (away from creeks/rivers/coast)
  • Limit time outside (cyclone, heat, asthma)
  • Avoid the area/avoid the flooded area
  • Stay away from damaged buildings and other hazards
  • Prepare for isolation
  • Protect yourself against the impacts of extreme heat
  • Do not enter flood water
  • Not safe to return
  • Prepare your property (cyclone/storm)
  • Leave/evacuate (immediately, by am/pm/hazard timing)
  • Seek/take shelter now
  • Shelter indoors now
  • Too late/dangerous to leave

How will it be implemented?

The AWS is being implemented in a phased approach in WA.

The next phase of the implementation will include:

  • New warning levels and colours for hazards including flood, cyclone and storm
  • Action statements to be incorporated into those warnings, including for bushfire, providing clearer advice about what to do

Where do I see alerts and warnings?

Emergency WA is Western Australia's official source of emergency information for bushfires and other hazards. During an incident, visiting Emergency WA is the quickest and easiest way to find out what's going on and what you need to do.

Emergency services will provide you as much information as possible through a range of methods. Your surroundings could be your best information source. Stay alert to what is happening around you. If you believe you may be in danger, act immediately to stay safe.