Community preparedness

Learn about being prepared for terrorist situations as well is how the community can help Victoria Police.

There are a number of things individuals and communities can do to prevent and prepare for emergencies. Your information could be the missing link that police need to prevent an incident from occurring. Preparedness is also vital - you may have to help yourself and others in the minutes directly prior to, during and after a terrorist attack.

Spend some time now to ensure you understand the Victorian Government counter terrorism arrangements and what you can do. All of us have a role to play.

In an emergency

Call Triple Zero 000 for urgent assistance from Police, Ambulance or Fire Brigade. This is a free call from any phone in Australia, even a phone box or disconnected mobile phone. For TTY users (hearing/speech impaired), call 106.

After you dial 000, an operator will ask which service you require - ambulance, police or fire. When you are on the phone, it is important to remain calm and speak slowly. Do not hang up until the operator has received the required information.

You should call 000 in a life threatening or time critical emergency, such as when:

  • someone is seriously injured or in danger
  • there is serious risk to life or property
  • a crime is being committed and/or a further crime may be committed
  • someone you suspect has committed a crime is close by or their location is known, and there is an opportunity to arrest the suspect
  • witnesses may leave the scene of a crime or evidence might be lost if police do not get there quickly
  • a victim is seriously distressed

Reporting suspicious activity

If you see or hear of activity that you believe could be suspicious call the National Security Hotline on 1800 123 400.

Reporting online extremism

We encourage members of the public to report objectionable material to either social media providers or through the reporting tool on the Living Safe Together website

Preparedness at home

In a terrorist incident, electricity may be affected or lost. Other essential services may also fail or suffer performance problems. For example, telephone services can become difficult to access in an emergency due to congestion (ie. overuse) or they can be lost entirely due to power failure or to lines being cut in an explosion.

There are things you can do at home to prepare for an emergency such as a terrorist incident. The following lists suggest things you can prepare and what you may need to to do in an emergency.

Emergency checklist

A basic home emergency kit should include:

  • torch (with spare batteries)
  • first aid kit and manual
  • telephone which doesn't require mains power to operate (e.g. mobile phone)
  • list of contact details for family members and emergency services
  • supply of medications and hygiene products
  • copies of important family documents (birth certificates, passports and licences)
  • battery operated radio (with spare batteries)

If it seems likely you may have to evacuate, you should get together the following:

  • mobile phone, spare batteries (if available) and charger
  • supplies of prescribed medications (including prescriptions)
  • spare home and car keys
  • cash and credit cards
  • spare clothes and blankets
  • food/medications for your pets

If you are told to leave your home:

turn off electricity, gas and water supplies, unplug appliances and lock all doors and windows

check on any elderly or disabled neighbours - do they need assistance to evacuate?

if you leave by car, take bottled water and blankets and listen to local radio for safety advice and instructions

make sure you have made arrangements for your pets


National Security Hotline

Call: 1800 123 400

Call the National Security Hotline on 1800 1234 00 to report any suspicious activity or information related to security or terrorism. This is a free call from any phone in Australia. All information is confidential and you can remain anonymous.

Trained operators take every call seriously. Information is passed on to Australia's police and security agencies for analysis and further investigation. Every piece of information helps. The hotline also provides information to callers on a wide range of national security matters.

if calling from overseas, call (+61) 1300 123 401

for TTY users, call 1800 234 889

if you do not speak English well, call the Translating and Interpreting Hotline on 131 450 and ask them to contact the National Security Hotline and interpret for you

Escape. Hide. Tell.

The Australian Government has released guidance for keeping safe in the event you find yourself under attack.

ESCAPE – move quickly and quietly away from danger, but only if it is safe to do so.

HIDE – stay out of sight and silence your mobile phone.

TELL – call the police by dialling Triple Zero (000) when it is safe.

For information about what to do in the the event of an attack - visit Australian National Security(opens in a new window)

Crime Stoppers

Call: 1800 333 000

Call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 to report crimes that are not in progress and/or have no known offender (e.g. break and enter, malicious damage, stealing, minor car accidents). This is a free call from any phone in Australia, and you can remain anonymous.

Community resources

Living Safe Together

The Australian Government is working with communities to address factors that make people vulnerable to extremist influences-including recruitment by terrorists-noting there is not just one path to violent extremism.

Disaster Assist

The Australian Government's Disaster Assist website provides information about recovery assistance and support.

Emergency Alert

Emergency Alert is the national telephone warning system used by emergency services to send voice messages to landlines and text messages to mobile phones within a defined area about likely or actual emergencies. In the case of an emergency, you may receive a voice message on your landline or a text message on your mobile phone.

Smart Traveller

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's Smartraveller website(opens in a new window) provides information on the risks you might face while travelling.