#VicEmergency, phone app question

With the continued dry weather and fire season fast approaching, I’m a bit worried by the VicEmergency app on my phone. Okay, lie, I’m a lot worried. I get notifications of fires within my watch zone, but the damn phone doesn’t ‘ring’. All I get is a vibration.

When I’m home, the phone sits on my desk so I can generally hear it as it bounces around. If I go to the bathroom or into the kitchen to make a cup of coffee, I hear nothing at all. Zero. Zip. Nada.

My phone is a Samsung Galaxy SII with the most up-to-date firmware it can take. I looked up the specs. My phone should be receiving the VicEmergency notifications without any problems. And I do, I just can’t hear them.

I’ve checked the phone and all the settings are fine. I get proper notification sounds for both calls and SMS messages. What’s more, when I was using the now defunct, EmergencyAus phone app. I had a special sound setup just for the notifications. If I heard that sound I knew to go check the phone, immediately.

-sigh- I really have to say this. The EmergencyAus app was ten times better than the VicEmergency app that seems to have pushed it out of the market. VicEmergency should be the better app because it includes data – such as wind direction – that wasn’t available on EmergencyAus. Read this post to see why wind direction is good.

The trouble is, the VicEmergency app is slow to load and slow to update.  I’ve seen fires showing on the app long after they’ve been downgraded to ‘safe’ on the VicEmergency website. That makes me wonder how much I can trust the app to provide emergency info. when there really is an emergency situation. And I can’t hear the alerts. In some ways, that’s the worst thing about the app because I’m now constantly worried that I’ve missed a vital notification. And that will only get worse as the season progresses.

So, the reason for this post is to ask other VicEmergency users out there if you get notifications with sound or not. If you do, what phone are you using?

I can’t afford to buy new phones for the Offspring and me, but I can’t afford to continue with this stress either. Not being able to hear the alerts has dumped me right back into the emotional state I was in after Black Saturday. People died because they didn’t know. 😦

Oh, and I did try to get some info. from VicEmergency itself but got no reply. Don’t you just love government agencies?

Any info. gratefully received.


About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

11 responses to “#VicEmergency, phone app question

  • DawnGillDesigns

    Scottie’s right – there is usually something within the pp as well as your usual settings to allow you to set a sound. My Sony (this irritates the hell out of me) almost always resets the defaults when there’s a software / firmware update. Also perhaps double check it hasn’t been added to the memory as a ‘contact’ with a unique ringtone of vibrate only. Good luck, and hug.


  • cagedunn

    Not something I can help with, but maybe the CFA (or is it CFS in Vic?) – they’re the ones (volunteers mostly) who use it hardest … do you know your local firies? Maybe ask one of them to do a presentation of the App for the local residents?
    Truly, though the VicEmergency should respond in an appropriate manner to any relevant enquiry that comes to them about their broadcasts. At the very least, to notify who to contact for information on the App.
    Do I sound cranky? I was a volunteer firie, I lost everything I owned in a fire because I wasn’t home – I was out there fighting that fire until it was declared ‘under control’ …


    • acflory

      Oh my god…I had no idea. I’m so sorry. 😦

      The CFA are great here, and the VicEmergency person on Twitter just replied but he seems to have sent an email to somebody about it. Not me. So still waiting.

      Liked by 1 person

      • cagedunn

        Good luck.
        Fire is no respecter; Ash Wednesday, Black Saturday – they give them names, and the names are given to reflect a fear, but like most things named to promote/provoke fear, they get placed in the back of the mind until it’s returned, staring at us through our front window …
        I only have to smell smoke now to go into overdrive, a hypervigilant, agitated state beyond reason. It is an excellent source for things in stories, for some reason …


        • acflory

          ‘…a hypervigilant, agitated state beyond reason’

          I’ve never seen ‘flames’, but I was here with my Dad on Black Saturday, hunkered down, constantly refreshing the CFA website and listening to 774, with no real idea of where the fire was. Or where it was going.
          Only found out how big a bullet we dodged a few days later.
          I have roof sprinklers and fire resistant shutters so I know the Offspring and I are safer at home than on the road, but I fear ‘not knowing’ again. That’s why every bad day has me strung up as tight as a bow. :/

          Liked by 1 person

  • Scottie

    I do not have the same phone so I really can not be much help. I would look in the app to see if it has a sound setting you can adjust. I can understand your worry, The people in California had a horrible year with fires, and the climate people say it is going to get much worse. Hugs


    • acflory

      Thanks Scottie. Yeah, last summer in the northern hemisphere was nasty and will only get worse. I wish politicians would get their heads out of their…bread baskets and do something positive about climate change.

      Liked by 2 people

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