Brisbane City Council lauches free early warning system

Storm warnings by phone or computer email

Brisbane City Council has launched a free early warning weather system to alert people to the danger of damaging storms, floods and other serious events such as bushfires.

The Brisbane Early Warning Network Alert Service will run for 12 months on a trial basis.

Acting Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said people could register with Council to receive warnings via SMS to mobiles, email, voicemail (to landlines) and web alerts by logging onto Council's website and filling out a form

"The Lord Mayor is always looking for ways to improve safety, particularly in the wake of The Gap Storms in last Christmas 2008, and the damaging floods in May this year," he said.

"This system will provide people with warnings about damaging weather such as hail, flash flooding, damaging winds, cyclone and bushfires. It will be very useful but of course we urge people to use common sense and not just rely on one source of information."

"This is about protecting residents and their property from floods and severe weather and will give people more time to take appropriate actions to protect their assets."

Cr Quirk said system provider, Early Warning Network, would monitor weather events around the clock, and provide the information to the public.

"These experts gather information from a variety of sources which include the Bureau of Meteorology and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations National Weather Service (NOAA), and all have meteorological experience," he said.

Council would also send its own messages about more local events through the network if required, Cr Quirk said.

The technology is being used in other parts of Australia, including Townsville City Council, Elders Insurance, and SKM Engineering.

Cr Quirk said the alert system differed from the Federal emergency alert service launched after the Victorian bush fires.

"Our service will tackle localised weather events and enable people to opt-in and receive alerts based on where they live, while providing information about the specific areas they request," he said.

One free registration is available per household. Cr Quirk said the service would be free for residents, who needed to fill out a form online at or call 07 3403 8888. Council also has free online Flood Flag Maps and FloodWise Property Reports, which show residents how overland flow, and river and, creek flooding can affect their properties.

[Ends] December 25, 2009

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