Monday, June 24, 2024

Flood, fire warnings at fingertips thanks to expanded hazard app

Residents across NSW will now have the latest flood and fire warnings at their fingertips, with the launch of the NSW Government’s ‘Hazards Near Me’ app.

The widely-used ‘Fires Near Me’ app, which has more than four million users, has been expanded and renamed to include flood alerts from the NSW State Emergency Service (SES), delivering on a key recommendation of the independent Flood Inquiry.

Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government, Victor Dominello said it was critical for the community to have access to the latest information when it matters most.

“Being informed in an emergency situation can save lives, and the Hazards Near Me app will help people stay safe during fires, floods and other natural disasters,” Mr Dominello said.

“The app has been jointly developed by the Department of Customer Service, SES and NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS), and I’m excited that app users will see additional features roll out in the future.”

Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery, Steph Cooke said empowering people with information was key to improving emergency responses. 

“The independent Flood Inquiry identified the need for a single source of advice that can provide warnings for different types of hazards, and this app delivers on our commitment,” Ms Cooke said.

“In an emergency every minute counts. Hazards Near Me will provide reliable and timely information directly from emergency services so people can make decisions to keep themselves and their families safe.”

RFS Commissioner Rob Rogers said the NSW community had shown how important apps are during emergencies.

“For more than a decade, the NSW community has used Fires Near Me for bush fire information, and with nearly 3 million downloads during the 2019-20 bush fire season, it’s a trusted source for fire information and warnings,” Commissioner Rogers said.

“The Hazards Near Me app builds upon this experience, familiarity and extensive user base by allowing people to see localised and customised information based on the hazards in their area.” 

SES Commissioner Carlene York said the app was another way that emergency services can alert the community when action is required.

“In recent months, the SES has delivered a new approach to flood warnings in NSW through the adoption of the three-level Australian Warning System,” Commissioner York said.

“The app will not only show where floods are happening and what people should do, but also alert users when new information is available so they can stay up-to-date and make safe decisions”.

Existing users of Fires Near Me will need to update their app through their phone’s app store. New users can download the app by searching for ‘Hazards Near Me’ in their app store.

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