About VICSES Warnings

visit emergency.vic.gov.au for warnings

The VicEmergency website provides emergency warnings and information for all hazards, including flood, storm, tsunami, earthquake, landslide and more.

VICSES Warnings

The Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) is the control agency for flood, storm, tsunami, earthquake and landslide in Victoria. 

We utilise the VicEmergency app, website and hotline (1800 226 226) to distribute flood, storm, tsunami, earthquake and landslide warnings and emergency information in Victoria. Communities can also access this information through our social media channels (Victoria State Emergency Service on Facebook and VICSES News on Twitter) and emergency broadcasters, such as Sky News TV and various radio stations. You can find out more about emergency broadcasters on the Emergency Management Victoria website. 

During some emergencies, we may alert communities by sounding a local siren, or by sending an SMS to mobile phones or a voice message to landlines.

Victorians are reminded to know how to stay informed and to never rely on one source for emergency information.

VicEmergency App

The VicEmergency app provides Victorians with access to warnings and incidents for fires, floods, storms, earthquake, tsunamis, landslides, water safety and more.

The app is available to download from the App Store or Google Play.

Creating a watch zone on your device allows you to be notified of incidents and warnings in a particular area of your choice. This can be a variety of incidents, such as fire, floods, severe weather, gas leaks and air quality.

If you want to pause your alerts for a particular watch zone, you can switch them on or off on the home screen.

For further guidance on how to create a watch zone, head to the VicEmergency Knowledge Base.



VicEmergency Hotline

You can call the VicEmergency hotline (1800 226 226) at any time of the day or night to access emergency information during and after major incidents in Victoria. It also offers information to help Victorians plan for and recover from emergencies.

Established in 2016, the hotline brings together a range of key emergency information numbers including the Victorian Bushfire Information Line, the Victorian Emergency Relief Information Line and the VICSES Flood and Storm Information Line.

The hotline also has an automatic text to speech function, which means Victorians can access up to date emergency information by entering their postcode, without the need to talk to an operator.

Users still have the option to talk to an operator when the hotline is staffed, but the new function helps to ensure people can access the important information they need to make decisions in emergencies at any time of the day or night. Operators are available Monday to Friday, 8am -– 6pm, with opening times extended during significant emergency events.

The hotline exists alongside the VicEmergency website and app, which bring together multi-hazard information and warnings from emergency management agencies including the Country Fire Authority (CFA), Department of Economic Development and Transport and Resources (DEDJTR), Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Life Saving Victoria, Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB), and Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES).


Types of Warnings

Warnings will be issued when an emergency is likely to impact you.

They provide you with information on what is happening and our best advice on what you should do.

Our aim is to provide you with as much information as we can – to help you make good decisions to protect yourself and your family.

The warning level is based on severity, conditions and the likelihood that the emergency could impact on the community, so the first warning issued could be an Emergency Warning – the highest level.

There are three different levels of warnings:



•    You are in imminent danger and need to take action immediately. You will be impacted.





•    An emergency is developing nearby. You need to take action now to protect yourself and others.





•    An incident is occurring or has occurred in the area. Access information and monitor conditions.
•    Can also be used as a notification that activity in the area has subsided and is no longer a danger to you.




Additional messages that may be issued include:


    An evacuation is recommended or procedures are in place to evacuate.






•    A newsletter containing updates for communities affected by an emergency.
•    Can also be used as notification that an incident has occurred but there is no threat to community.

Emergency Alert

Emergency Alert Logo

During times of emergencies such as extreme weather events, your landline or mobile phone may be used to deliver a critical warning. This 'Emergency Alert' phone or text message is another way for authorities to inform you on what you may need to do. If you do not understand the message, ask a family member, friend or neighbour for assistance.

Visit emergencyalert.gov.au for further information.


Standard Emergency Warning Signal


The Standard Emergency Warning Signal (SEWS) is a distinctive "wailing" siren which may be broadcast on radio, television, or public areas such as shopping centres or sports grounds. The use of SEWS is intended to attract the listener’s attention prior to the broadcast of an important safety message.

Visit police.vic.gov.au for further information.

Community Sirens

Community sirens, including existing CFA Brigade sirens, are now being used as part of Victoria’s warning system for all hazards – including flood, fire and storm.

A prolonged, five-minute signal will indicate that a current emergency has been identified in the local area and people should seek further information from sources such as Victoria’s emergency broadcasters, websites, flood and fire information lines and social media.

Sirens are an additional tool for the emergency services to communicate with the community and are not a stand-alone warning system.

Visit the Emergency Management Victoria website for further information.