Telstra News |

Bushfire relief for our Western Australia customers

By Campbell Simpson February 3, 2021

We’ve organised an assistance package for our residential and small business customers in WA who have been evacuated or who have lost services due to bushfires in their regions.

Updated 16 March 2021: We’ve now closed our assistance package for Western Australian customers affected by the Perth Hills area bushfires in early February 2021. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Our original article follows:

We know how important it is to reach out to friends and family during a crisis, and we want to do all we can to help. Our assistance package gives Telstra customers access to free and interim services during short-term impacts from these bushfires, with long-term measures also available for customers who have suffered severe damage or loss of their homes and businesses.

Bushfires burning across the Perth Hills area in WA have damaged some homes and forced some residents to evacuate. Customers impacted include those in the following postcodes and suburbs:

6056 – Baskerville, Bellevue, Boya, Greenmount, Helena Valley, Herne Hill, Jane Brook, Koongamia, Middle Swan, Midland, Midvale, Millendon, Red Hill, Stratton, Swan View, Viveash, Woodbridge

6069 – Aveley, Belhus, Brigadoon, Ellenbrook, Ellenbrook East, The Vines, Upper Swan

6081 – Parkville

6083 – Gidgegannup, Morangup

6084 – Bullsbrook, Chittering, Lower Chittering

6558 – Wooroloo

6560 – Wundowie

If you’re a Telstra customer living in one of the areas we’ve listed, we’ll send you an SMS with a link to request a disaster assistance package. You can also find out more about our disaster assistance packages here.

If you need a temporary diversion for a landline phone to an alternate number, or for other long-term assistance, please contact us. If you’re in a disaster-impacted area, give us a call on 1800 888 888 to speak with our disaster assistance team.

Our assistance packages for affected customers can include the following:

Short term measures (for Telstra customers who have suffered a short-term impact, evacuation or fault):

● Free use of Telstra public payphones in the affected areas

● Free call diversion from an affected fixed home or business phone service to another fixed or mobile service of the customer’s choice, regardless of the carrier

● 25GB data pack for post-paid mobile customers (30 day expiry, not transferrable to another service)

● 25GB data and free calls for pre-paid mobile customers (30 day expiry, not transferrable to another service)

Long-term measures (for Telstra customers who have suffered severe damage to or loss of their premises):

● Free call diversion from the customer’s Telstra fixed phone service to another Australian fixed or mobile service of their choice, regardless of the carrier. This offer is applicable for a maximum period of 6 months from the date of the fire.

● In addition, Telstra will apply a one-off credit up to the value of $500 inc. GST to the customer’s Telstra fixed phone account to help cover the costs of the following, if required:

○ Connection of a Telstra fixed phone service at one temporary residence

○ Re-connection of a Telstra fixed phone service at the customer’s original permanent premises

Regional |

How to prepare and stay connected during natural disaster

By Dr Ben Gursansky September 17, 2020

There’s no question that we live in unprecedented times. But even being mindful of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we still need to prepare for natural disasters no matter where we are in the country.

First and foremost, it’s important to have an emergency plan in place before a critical incident arrives on your doorstep. That way you can quickly and efficiently evacuate and get yourself and your loved ones to safety.

When preparing, ensure you consider the following tips from our emergency toolkit. Some of these require an investment of time and planning, but some – like a non-electronic list of essential emergency contact numbers – are simple and quick enough to tackle straight away for peace of mind.

Mobile phones and portable devices

Invest in an alternative charger.

If you don’t already have one, purchase a phone charger that isn’t dependent on a power outlet. A popular choice is a ‘power bank’ battery pack that can be charged from a power outlet prior to an event and used if grid electricity is unavailable, or a portable solar panel charger or in-car charger.

Back up your data.

Store your important data, like contact information and personal photos, in the cloud using an online service. If you have an Apple or Google device, these smartphones have automatic backups that you can enable to make sure your photos are always saved.

Know your emergency numbers.

Store a list of essential contact numbers for your local Police, Fire, SES teams as well as friends and family on your phone and as a non-electronic, ideally waterproofed, backup. Make sure you include our dedicated disaster assistance number – 1800 888 888.

When you have your list of essential numbers, make sure you make a printed copy to keep in your wallet, purse or bag, and keep a version in your car as well. Power can go out for a week or longer during a disaster. Keeping a printed copy means that if your phone is out of battery and you need an important phone number, you have it handy at all times.

Consider a satellite phone.

In rural and regional areas, a satellite phone should usually be independent of any damaged infrastructure and can operate in remote locations. If your communications are critical or if you are in an isolated area, a satellite phone backup could come in handy. And if you only have one, make sure it is charged and accessible in the event you do need to use it.

Consider a repeater device.

Like any mobile network, coverage on the Telstra mobile network depends on where you are, the mobile handset, tablet or mobile broadband device you’re using, and whether an external antenna can be attached. It’s important to understand that different devices have different capabilities.

Legal network coverage extension devices amplify the network signal your mobile device receives, which extends the area that your device can work in. These devices can help you connect to the Telstra mobile network from further away than normally possible, or in areas where signal may struggle to penetrate – such as indoors, or in hilly or dense terrain.

It’s important to note that boosters are illegal to own or operate on any network in Australia, and they can disrupt or even prevent others from making calls to emergency 000.

Legal wireless network coverage extension devices, such as the Telstra Mobile Smart Antenna and Telstra Go, are also known as ‘repeaters’ as they repeat the signal from one location to another.

You can also take a look at our range of repeaters and extenders to see if one suits your needs.

Fixed line phones and nbn

Home phones on the NBN are different.

Since the NBN carries your home phone line, it will be unavailable during a power outage. It’s best to have a mobile phone or satellite phone handy for this instance, especially in remote areas.

Enable Wi-Fi calling.

If cellular network signal is down during a disaster, you can still use your mobile phone to make and receive calls and text messages, provided it supports Wi-Fi Calling. Wi-Fi Calling provides basic voice-calling capability on compatible devices when you’re connected to a supported Wi-Fi network and can’t connect to the Telstra Mobile Network.

We’ve also switched on SMS over Wi-Fi, allowing you to receive texts via your fixed line connection when you’re in Wi-Fi coverage. Here’s our FAQ on how to set it up in case you haven’t already.

Keep a corded phone.

A cordless fixed line phone is convenient, but remember, most cordless phones rely on electric power to operate, so you may lose the use of your landline during a power outage. A corded phone draws its electricity directly from the phone line (excluding fixed line phones on NBN) and can be used during a power outage.

Keeping in touch during disaster

Set up a virtual meeting place. If you have internet access, an instant messaging group chat with friends and family, or a social media site like Facebook or even Instagram, can give you and your loved ones extra information during a time of crisis.

Establish a calling tree. If mobile services have been impacted, find your local payphone – which is a fixed line service, and is more likely to withstand disaster impacts – and call a key contact who can then call other family and friends to inform them you’re safe.

Know your evacuation locations. Know where your local evacuation centre and emergency meeting spots are and what different routes you can use to get there as some roads may not be accessible during the disaster.

Download emergency services apps. These official apps will give you the most up-to-date information on what’s happening in your area, including natural disaster warnings.

Be alert to changing conditions. Subscribe to services that will alert you to weather changes, road closures and updates from other service providers in your area.

Use local information sources. Online, social media accounts for your local authorities and emergency services will share crucial information. Your local broadcaster will also share information over the radio – make sure you have a battery-powered radio or car radio to listen in on.

Other help you might need

Below we’ve provided a short list of some official information sources from various federal, state and territory governments that you should read if you’re preparing yourself and your home against disaster.

Government agencies for emergency response information:

Other critical information websites: