Use more than one source of information
The Country Fire Service (CFS) is encouraging South Australians to access information during bushfire incidents through multiple sources, as part of their Bushfire Survival Plan.
The advice follows a slowing of the Country Fire Authority (CFA) website in Victoria last Friday when a Total Fire Ban was declared across the state.
The CFA website and its Smartphone App had more than 12 million hits over a 12-hour period last Friday which drastically slowed it down and eventually impaired its access.
CFS State Coordinator Leigh Miller said on the same day when South Australia had declared Total Fire Bans throughout the state with average temperatures around 40 degrees, the CFS website functioned without problems.
"Although our website and Fire App withstood the rigour of high demand, the extreme volume of website hits experienced in Victoria has demonstrated that you should not rely on just one source to obtain bushfire information," Mr Miller said.
"We've been talking to the CFA to learn from their experience and prevent similar issues happening to the CFS website," he said.
"The CFS website and Fire App systems are robust but their dependability can also be influenced by other things beyond our control such as the reliability of a service provider or mobile network connections."
Mr Miller said bushfire planning must also include monitoring local emergency broadcast radio stations or signing-on to CFS social media sites, registering for RSS feeds, or subscribing for email notifications through the CFS website.
"I also strongly urge anyone who has yet to download information about a Bushfire Survival Plan to do so well ahead of a high fire risk day and help relieve the high demand on the website on such days," Mr Miller said.
The CFS constantly monitors its website's performance and Fire Apps as part of its regular maintenance schedule to deliver prompt and reliable information.
For a comprehensive list of emergency broadcast radio stations visit the CFS website at www.cfs.sa.gov.au or contact the Bushfire Information Hotline on 1300 362 361.