Australian Warning System

The Northern Territory (NT) is joining other states and territories to implement the Australian Warning System (AWS).

The AWS helps to provide consistent warnings so communities know what to do when they see a warning level, no matter what the emergency is or where in Australia they are.

It is a national approach to information and warnings for hazards like bushfire, extreme heat, flood, cyclone and severe weather.

The AWS for each of the hazards will be implemented at different times in the NT.

Features of the AWS

The AWS has the following features:

  • a nationally consistent set of icons for each hazard
  • a visually optimised 3-tiered warnings system
  • 3 colours that represent each warning level to show the increasing risk:
    • yellow - Advice: Stay up to date
    • orange - Watch and act: Start taking action
    • red - Emergency warning: Act immediately
  • each warning level has a set of action statements.

For a visual of the bushfire warnings, watch the video clip below.

For more information about the AWS icons and warning levels, go to the Australian Disaster Resilience website.

Rollout schedule in the NT

In the NT, the AWS is currently in place for bushfires.

Over time, the AWS will be phased in for other hazards such as floods, cyclones and heatwaves.

The proposed dates are as follows:

  • heatwave - September 2022
  • cyclone, flood and severe weather - by October 2023.

What's changing

Up until now, there have been different warning systems for different hazard types across Australia.

The new wording, colours and call to action may be different to what you’re used to. However, the way you receive warnings may not change.

The system applies to bushfire, flood, severe storm, cyclone and extreme heat – and is designed to be adaptable and scalable to other hazards.

Over time, the new system will be used for more types of incidents in more places around the country.

Warnings outside the NT

Each state and territory will manage the implementation of the new AWS depending on their operational priorities, so the timeframes will vary.

This means that they may have different timelines for implementing AWS for hazards.

You should refer to the websites in each state or territory to find out how to stay informed during an emergency.

More information

For all Bushfires NT alerts, go to the NT Fire Incident Map.

For all alerts and warnings, go to the SecureNT website.


For more information, email

Last updated: 14 June 2022

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