This research was conducted as part of the Effective risk and warning communication during natural hazards project, which explored whether emergency communications - such as alerts that are sent out during bushfire or flood emergencies - can be adapted to better support community understanding, decision-making and protective behaviour. Emergency Alerts are used by emergency service organisations to warn communities of potential or imminent threat and to trigger protective action. They complement long-form official warnings and media broadcasts during natural hazard emergencies like bushfires and floods.
As a type of warning, they are noted for being short and tersely phrased. Critical to the design of Emergency Alerts are word choice, content order and length.
There are two Hazard Notes presenting findings from this research, each relating to specific elements of Emergency Alerts and warnings that can be adapted to strengthen effectiveness:
- This Hazard Note (Hazard Note 111) examines the effectiveness of different Emergency Alert structures for bushfire and flood, which were co-designed with the Victoria State Emergency Service and Emergency Management Victoria. Download Hazard Note 111 by clicking the DOWNLOAD NOW button above.
- Hazard Note 110 reports on how words and phrases can be used to signal risk and trigger behavioural response during bushfire and flood emergencies.