26 September 2023

New flood and fire app a handful of safety

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Three NSW Agencies have come together on a new app to put the latest flood and fire warnings in the palms of people’s hands.

Welcoming the new Hazards Near Me app, the Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government, Victor Dominello said the app was jointly developed by the Department of Customer Service, NSW State Emergency Service (SES) and NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS).

Mr Dominello said NSW RFS’s widely used Fires Near Me app had been expanded and renamed to include flood alerts from the SES.

He said the app delivered on a key recommendation of the independent Flood Inquiry for a single source of advice that could provide warnings for different types of hazards.

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

“For more than a decade, the NSW community has used Fires Near Me for bush fire information, and with nearly three 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 for emergency services to alert the community when action was 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.”

Commissioner York said existing users of Fires Near Me would need to update their app, while new users could download the app by searching for Hazards Near Me in their app store.

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