Everyone loves the start of the year, with its hot days, balmy night and backyard barbeques. But with the warmer months comes an increased risk of natural disasters – fire, floods and cyclones – across the country.

It’s important to think ahead and make sure you can stay informed about conditions and connected with loved ones during an emergency. Even if you don’t live in an area of high risk for cyclones, bushfires or flooding, you may work in or travel through a high-risk area, so it’s important that everyone knows what to do in an emergency.

Here are a few of our tips on what you can do now that will make it easier to stay connected during a disaster.

Be prepared – what to do before an emergency

Mobile phones

Alternative phone charger – If you haven’t already, purchase a phone charger that isn’t dependent on a power outlet. Solar power chargers, in-car chargers and power bank chargers are all reliable options. Make sure you charge your power bank.

  • Back up data – Back up important data, like contact information and photos, to your cloud.
  • Know your numbers – Compile a list of essential contact numbers to store in your phone and keep them close at hand, including local Police, Fire, SES, family, friends and Telstra’s fixed line fault line – 13 22 03.
  • Satellite phones – are usually immune to damaged infrastructure and can operate in remote locations. If communications are critical you could consider a satellite phone.

Fixed line phones

  • Have a spare battery – Remember, most modern cordless phones rely on electric power to operate, so you may lose the use of your landline during a power outage. Consider a phone with a battery backup function and keep spare batteries nearby.
  • For our nbn customers – It’s important to remember if your home phone now works through the modem, and if there’s a power outage, your phone line will also be down. Best to have a mobile phone handy, or a satellite phone for those in remote areas.
  • Keep a spare plug-in phone handy – Your cordless phone is great, but using a plug-in phone connects you to the telephone exchange.

Social Media

  • Virtual meeting place – Set up an instant messaging group with family and friends. Agree in advance to update each other here during an emergency.
  • Emergency apps – Download emergency service apps. They will give up to date warnings and incident information issued by official agencies across Australia.
  • Local information sources – Identify key local agency social media accounts and websites for real time information on what’s happening in your area.
  • Be alert – Subscribe to text and emails that will alert you to weather changes, road closures and local emergency services updates.
  • Know your emergency broadcaster: Have a battery powered radio with spare batteries to listen to the emergency broadcaster in your area.

Stay informed about network issues in your area

Our Service Status site provides up-to-date on outages and restoration timeframes in your area.

And if you have an issue with your service, make sure you report it. Telstra customers can report a fault by calling:

  • Mobile phone: 125 111
  • Fixed line: 132 203
  • ADSL: 133 933

All other customers should contact their service provider to log a fault.