Our Warnings

The NSW SES moved to the Australian Warning System for flood and tsunami warnings on 30 September 2022. 

The Australian Warning System (AWS) is a nationally consistent, three-tiered approach designed to make warnings clearer and lead people to take action ahead of severe weather events. The warning system comprises warning levels, action statements, hazard icons, colours and shapes.

Warning levels and action statements

There are three levels within the AWS - Advice, Watch & Act and Emergency Warning. For each level, there are a series of clear action statements to guide positive action by the community. These include ‘stay informed’, ‘prepare to evacuate’ and ‘move to higher ground’ as shown below:

  • Advice - an incident has started. Stay up to date in case the situation changes.
    • Stay informed
    • Monitor conditions
    • Reduced threat: return with caution
  • Watch and Act - conditions are changing and you need to start taking action now to protect you and your family.
    • Do not enter floodwater
    • Prepare to evacuate
    • Prepare to isolate
    • Avoid the area
  • Emergency Warning - the highest level of warning. You may be in danger and need to take action immediately.
    • Evacuate now / Evacuate before [time]
    • Shelter now
    • Move to higher ground 

Warning levels

Each warning has three components:

  • Location + Hazard: The location and the type of hazard impacting the community (e.g. Lismore flooding).
  • Action statement: For each warning level there are a range of action statements to guide protective action by the community. These statements evolve as the warning levels increase in severity. Statements range from ‘stay informed’ at the Advice level, to ‘prepare to evacuate’ at the Watch and Act level, to ‘evacuate now’ in the Emergency Warning level. As the situation changes and the threat is reduced, the level of warning will decrease accordingly.
  • The warning level: The severity of the natural hazard event based on the consequence to the community.

Three warning components 

Local warnings for your community

The NSW SES utilises a range of sources to build detailed flood intelligence within local communities – including information from flood studies and historical flood data. As part of the transition to the Australian Warning System, the NSW SES has increased flexibility to tailor warnings at the community level, based on the expected consequences of severe weather events.

Accessing NSW SES warnings

Impacted communities will continue to receive flood warnings through the NSW SES website, NSW SES social media channels and by listening to local ABC radio stations.

The NSW SES has also developed an all-hazards warning platform, Hazard Watch, to provide an additional channel for communities to access important warning information.

View All Current NSW SES Warnings

Flood boat 

Frequently asked questions

Will minor / moderate / major terminology still be used?

The Bureau of Meteorology will continue to issue flood warnings with this terminology. The NSW SES will then analyse the expected impact and consequences of these flood warnings to communities in the warning area, and determine the type of warning to issue (Advice, Watch & Act, or Emergency Warning).
Minor, moderate and major terminology will still be used within the flood products from NSW SES, however it will not be part of the headline warning.
For more information, please contact us.

Hazards Near Me NSW is now live

View emergency warnings and advice for fires, floods and tsunamis in NSW.

You can find current information about local emergencies on Hazards Near Me. The app shows information provided from emergency services on: 

  • bush fires

  • floods

  • tsunamis

  • advice on what to do to stay safe.

The app also provides other warnings and activities in your area: 

  • fire danger ratings 

  • total fire bans 

  • hazard reduction activities. 

The app can send you push notifications when there are new incidents or when information changes.

Hazards Near Me App Logo Download the Hazards Near Me app here https://www.nsw.gov.au/emergency/hazards-near-me-app 

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