For emergency help in flood and storm, call the SA State Emergency Service hotline: 132 500
If you are in a significant flood or storm event:
- use the SA State Emergency Service Incidents and warnings map
- monitor the Bureau of Meteorology Warnings for SA
What warnings will I get before a flood?
The SA State Emergency Service is responsible for providing flood warnings to the public during a flood event. The information in these warnings comes from the Department for Environment and Water, the Bureau of Meteorology, landscape boards, SA Water and local councils.
We do not issue flood warnings on this website.
Warnings for South Australia are issued on:
- SA State Emergency Service – Current warning list
- Bureau of Meteorology – Warnings for South Australia
- Bureau of Meteorology – South Australia rainfall and river conditions
- Department for Environment and Water – River Murray flow reports within the South Australian section of the river.
Warnings are also made available via:
- free-to-air broadcast media (radio and television)
- public internet, including SA State Emergency Service
- social media.
Flood warning activities and roles
|Activities leading up to warnings||Organisation|
|Monitor weather and rainfall, and predict water levels in rivers||Bureau of Meteorology|
|Interpret rainfall and water level information and assist the SA State Emergency Service to predict impacts and predict water levels in smaller catchments||Department for Environment and Water|
|Coordinate warnings and calls to actions||SA State Emergency Service|
|Plan and take action on response||SA State Emergency Service, SA Police, other state government departments and local councils|
How the warning system works
In Australia, information from organisations involved in flood is fed into a Total Flood Warning System (see the Australian Disaster Resilience Handbook Collection, Manual 21: Flood Warning). Elements of the system are summarised here:
1. Monitoring and prediction
The monitoring of watercourses in real time is done by the Department for Environment and Water, the Bureau of Meteorology, landscape boards, SA Water and local councils. They use equipment including rainfall gauges, and water level and flow gauges in rivers and creeks, to detect environmental conditions which may lead to flooding and predict water levels during any flood. They might also gather information from past flood events. Data systems are used to collect, analyse and display information.
The monitoring and predictions are then interpreted by the relevant agency (depending on location) into information on the likely impacts and which communities are at risk. This information is used for operational decision-making by the organisations responsible for managing flood mitigation infrastructure and the emergency services if needed.
3. Message construction
To ensure messages are consistent and concise, organisations involved in the warning devise the messages and cross-check each other’s work.
The predictions are also used to develop messages to warn people and organisations likely to be affected by the flood. See Australian Warning System (aidr.org.au).
5. Protective behaviour
The agencies involved will then work to support threatened communities during the flood event.
This system is reviewed regularly to ensure it continues to be suitable.
The Flood Hazard Plan (pdf) has a lot more information about flood warning and intelligence, how the warning systems work, and what each organisation is responsible for.