Disaster Warnings in Foreign Languages Straight to Your Phone

Published 16 November 2021

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Moreton Bay Regional Council has launched its first MoretonAlert translation program, where the messages for severe weather events will be translated into Modern Standard Arabic language.

Mayor Peter Flannery said this is an important step forward as we assist Moreton Bay Region’s culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities to prepare for emergencies and disasters ahead of the storm season.

“Moreton Bay Region communities all need to be resilient to the risks of storms, floods and bushfires, including people from CALD communities,” he said.

“Being able to access and understand the information provided to help keep them safe in their first language ensures our CALD community is as resilient as we can make it.

“MoretonAlert is a free service that provides severe weather warnings and alerts via SMS, email, or text-to-voice direct to our residents based on Bureau of Meteorology forecasts and includes links to the latest weather radar imagery or flood information.

“We’re proud to launch our first MoretonAlert translation program to address a gap in disaster preparedness messaging for our CALD community.

“Our region is culturally diverse with one in four of our residents born overseas, originating from 184 countries and almost 10 per cent of residents speak a language other than English at home.

“We have worked closely with Multicultural Australia, the Community Action for a Multicultural Society (CAMS) program, TAFE Queensland and the Syrian Mosaic Community to identify the most common languages to translate our disaster preparedness messages into.

“Based on the community’s need and census data, we’re focusing on trialling Arabic as our first MoretonAlert translation program.

“Arabic is selected based on countries of origin, as this translation is the official language used in over 25 different countries and meets the diverse needs of our multicultural region.

“Depending on the success of this trial, we will be rolling this program out to other languages in 2022.

“Natural disasters are very unpredictable but one of the best ways you can stay ahead of potential threats is by signing up Council’s MoretonAlert system.

“If Arabic is your preferred language for the MoretonAlert updates, you can sign up online or by calling Council and let us know that Arabic is your preferred language for MoretonAlert. 

“I strongly encourage you to sign up to this alert system to receive weather warnings, as this is the best thing you can do today to be prepared for future weather events.”

To sign up, see MoretonAlert on our Council website or call Moreton Bay Regional Council on (07) 3205 0555.

For more information about getting storm ready, see disaster management.