Flood Warning Service in Australia

australia floodFlood warnings work best if they remain simple. Placing too complicated definitions behind warning signals only causes confusion among the public. This is why some governments failed in their flood warning systems.

Also a factor is the process on how they arrive with specific warning signals. Agencies and other organizations involve in the overall government flood control and warning network might not have understood the full concept of their own warning system causing inadequate or wrong warning information.

Despite the arid and desert-like perception of Australia, its river system can cause major flooding. That’s why the government has instituted The Bureau of Meteorology to provide flood warning services. Their flood warning system is a product of an inter-agency cooperation involving the State Emergency Service (S/TES) in each State/Territory as well as water agencies and local Councils.

The Bureau is responsible in providing a variety of information including Alerts, Watch or Advice notifications of possible flooding or if flood producing rains are to be expected in the next few days.

They can also issue a Generalised Flood Warning which informs the public if a flooding is occurring or is expected to occur in a particular region. As a generalized warning, it only provides information on the possible or current location of flooding and none on the severity of the floods.

With regards to flood specifics, the Bureau provides Minor, Moderate or Major flood warnings which are specialized warning systems. This time, the warning specifies the the river valley, the locations expected to be flooded, when it is likely to occur, and the expected degree or severity of the flooding.

Minor flooding is defined as floods that cause inconvenience and low-lying areas that are near waterways are expected to be affected. It is recommended that stock and equipment be removed or placed on higher grounds. Also, minor flooding warnings can mean that minor roads would be closed and low-level bridges submerged.

A Moderate flooding warning on the other hand, contains all the possibilities of a Minor warning with the addition of the evacuation of some houses due to the increase height of flood waters. Main traffic roads may be flooded and a wide range of low lying areas would be submerged.

Major flooding involves the extensive flooding of rural areas and even urban areas. Properties and towns are likely to be isolated since major roads are most likely to closed since flood waters have put down underwater. Expect people from flood infected areas needing evacuation.

Aside from the warnings above, the Bureau is also expected to provide information and predictions on the height of the river and its expected height over a time period. If you think about it, this information is very essential since it can determine if how long areas have before the rivers swell and flood their homes.

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