Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates from the Australian Government

Communications in emergencies

Keeping connected and informed during an emergency or natural disaster is vital in staying safe.

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Telecommunications services, such as phone and internet, help us to communicate and receive information during emergencies or natural disasters and are crucial in coordinating response and recovery efforts.

While telecommunications companies actively plan for emergency situations, these services may become unavailable for a number of reasons such as direct damage or power supply being interrupted.

What can I do to prepare?

To help stay safe, connected and informed during an emergency, there are some easy steps you can follow in case there is an unexpected outage.


More videos about how to prepare for a telecommunications outage are available from our YouTube playlist.

Top tips

  • Plan ahead. Think about how you would communicate if your mobile, landline and internet service were not available.
  • Pack a portable, battery powered radio. Include a spare set of batteries and a backup power source for your devices in your emergency kit so you can stay up-to-date with emergency information. If you live in or are travelling to a remote area, consider taking a personal locator beacon, UHF radio or satellite phone.
  • Have a hard copy of your contacts. Write down contact numbers and email addresses for family and friends so you have these available quickly.
  • Stay informed. While possible, monitor your local radio and television stations, as well as emergency services websites and social feeds for up-to-date warnings and information.
  • Follow advice. Listen to emergency personnel on the ground and Emergency Alert phone messages if you receive one.

If you're travelling, there are a few more steps you can take to be prepared.

  • Check local weather forecasts. Adjust your travel if bad weather is predicted
  • Share your travel plans. Let loved ones know where you're going and take a paper copy of their contact details.
  • Familiarise yourself with the area. When you reach your destination find out where the evacuation meeting points are and make a note of the local radio stations and their frequencies.

Remember, communications networks can go down quickly. If you're concerned for your safety, don't wait to be told to evacuate—prepare and leave early.

Taking a trip?

There are five steps you can take to ensure you are prepared if communication networks become unavailable while travelling to ensure you stay safe, connected and informed.

Find out more