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The tragic 2009 bushfire season has also provided valuable learnings on how we may better manage these situations in the future. The lack of an effective early warning system remains one of the most discussed topics. First hand experience of what worked well and what not so well when our community was threatened by fire has hightlighted the need for a service that provides timely information. Many in the community struggled to find information quickly and needed to spend considerable time monitoring web sites, radio stations and scanners, particularly when the local fire station siren could be heard. Now is the time to gather this experience and implement a solution that will help us to be better prepared in 2009-2010.

19FIRE is a simple and effective Emergency Information system designed to deliver timely and relevant information and warning messages to people living in bushfire prone areas. The system puts the subscriber in control over which categories of messages they wish to receive and when, rather than to rely on a static list of billing addresses.

The basic premise of the service is simple:

  1. Inform me as soon as a Total Fire Ban day is declared!
  2. Warn me when there is a fire in my area!
Total Fire Ban notification messages allow subscribers to activate their fire plans in a controlled way and adequately prepare for the day(s) ahead. Whether you plan to leave early or stay and actively defend, preparations take time, and being informed early will help you to stick to your policy. Total Fire Ban messages can be subscribed to per Fire Ban District.

Fire Alert notifications are sent out when a specific fire brigade is called out to respond to an incident. Subscribers will know the same time the fire brigade knows that there is a fire. The alerts contain the location nature and urgency of the incident. Fire Alerts are subscribed to per CFA station.

This service is designed to be used as an integral part of your bushfire survival plan. The Total Fire Ban notification can be used as the decision trigger to either leave early or stay. If committing to stay, Fire Alert notifications will support decision making of when to defend. Using Fire Alerts as a trigger to leave is not advisable!

Messages are distributed via SMS and email. SMS messages are text messages that can be sent to any Australian mobile phone. There are costs associated with sending SMS messages and receiver pays for the delivery of the SMS messages. SMS messages are charged on a pre-paid basis at $0.25 per message (including GST). Please refer to the HOW do I PAY? section on how to top up your 19FIRE account. There are no contracts or ongoing subscription fees charged by 19FIRE. You will also be sent a complimentary email version of the message to your registered email address. The email version is more verbose than the SMS version as it not limited by the 160 characters for SMS. It also includes a Google Map showing the approximate location of the incident. Subscribers can choose to receive Total Fire Ban notifications via email only (free), thereby avoiding the costs associated with the delivery of the SMS version.

Introductory offer, TRY IT OUT FOR FREE: It has been a very busy winter building this service and testing it during spring, but we are very pleased with the result and the feedback has been great. As a promotion new subscribers will receive their FIRST SMS FREE.

Registration is free. There are no charges to be registered as a subscriber in the system. You will only be charged for the delivery of SMS messages. You can subscribe to as many alert categories as you like and change as often as you like without cost.

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First Time

Before you opt-in:
MAKE SURE that your fire plan is up to date
CHECK the terms and conditions
ASK questions if you are unsure

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