Emergency WA platform updated to provide COVID-19 alerts
The Western Australian Department of Health and Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) will customise the Emergency WA website platform for future community COVID-19 alerts and warnings. The platform will now be used to provide geographically targeted information to communities affected by a localised outbreak of COVID-19.
WA Health Minister Roger Cook emphasised the importance of fast, clear and consistent public information in a constantly evolving situation, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The ability to use the Emergency WA platform for COVID-19 messaging adds another important string to our bow in communicating information to the WA community. I encourage all Western Australians to visit Emergency WA so they are comfortable with how it works,” said Cook.
Managed by DFES, Emergency WA is the state’s official website for community warnings for a range of emergencies — providing real-time information during bushfires, cyclones, floods and more. Emergency WA’s map-based display provides information to help people in impacted areas make informed decisions for their safety.
Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan said Emergency WA has helped keep Western Australians safe with access to emergency information, including map-based warnings, for more than four years. Logan commended the Department of Health and DFES for collaborating on the project, and providing another avenue for Western Australians to get timely and reliable information on COVID-19.
The platform has a high level of existing awareness and community following, making it a suitable communications tool to provide public health messaging in the event of a community outbreak.
A ‘human pandemic’ icon has been created to identify alerts and warnings specific to COVID-19. The platform’s customisation is part of the Department of Health’s State Health Incident Coordination Centre’s preparation and preparedness for future potential outbreaks and community transmission of COVID-19.
The human pandemic listing and filter is now visible on the Emergency WA website.
The Department of Health is also investigating the use of and access to the national Emergency Alert telephone warning system, which delivers emergency messages to fixed phone lines and mobile phones in a defined area. This service is used by DFES in situations where there is a direct and imminent threat to lives and properties.
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