Emergency calls

This page provides an overview of ways to make emergency voice calls in rural, regional, and remote Australia.

In the event of a power outage, phone and internet services provided over the nbn will not work without a backup power supply. This will also affect any medical alarms or security alarms that you may have which connected through the nbn.

An emergency connection pack to enable emergency calling could include a charged mobile phone, portable mobile battery pack and battery-powered radio.

Emergency numbers


Australia’s primary emergency call service number is Triple Zero (000). It can be dialed from any fixed or mobile phone, pay phones, certain Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, and satellite phone services.

If you call from a mobile phone, your call to 000 will be carried on any available mobile network.

Note that if there is no mobile coverage on any network, you will not be able to reach the Emergency Call Service via a mobile telephone.

If there is Internet access via wifi, however, you may be able to use Wi-Fi Calling.

You can also call 000 using the Emergency+ app on your smartphone. You must have access to a mobile network or wifi calling in order to make this call.


112 is available from most mobile phones. Call as if you were calling 000.

If there is no mobile coverage on any network, you will not be able to reach the Emergency Call Service via a mobile telephone.

If there is Internet access via wifi, however, you may be able to use Wi-Fi Calling.


People who are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment can use a TTY to call 106. 106 is a text-based Emergency Call Service provided as a part of the National Relay Service (NRS).

All calls to the emergency numbers, whether from fixed, mobile, pay phones or VoIP services are free-of-charge.

When you call 106, the operator will connect you with the emergency service organisation (police, fire or ambulance) you request.

You cannot access 106 by SMS.

You can also ask the NRS for a captioned relay, internet relay, SMS relay, video relay or voice relay call to be transferred to Triple Zero if you need emergency help from police, fire or an ambulance service.


You cannot call 911. This number is used by emergency services in the United States and can’t be used to call emergency services in Australia.

National Relay Service (NRS)

Calls to emergency services are prioritised in the NRS call answer system – except NRS Video Relay calls.

You can contact emergency services through NRS Chat, SMS Relay, NRS Captions, Voice Relay, Video Relay and TTY.

For more information on NRS emergency calls, visit the Department of Communications and the Arts’ AccessHub.

Emergency alert telephone warning system

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.

Emergency Alert is just one way of warning communities and will not be used in all circumstances.

Emergency Alert relies on telecommunications networks to send messages, and message delivery cannot be guaranteed.

Emergency+ app

Relaunched in October 2020.

Important – if there is no mobile coverage on any network, you will not be able to reach the Emergency Call Service via a mobile telephone.

You must have access to a mobile network or wi-FI calling in order to make this call.

Emergency+ is a free application developed by Australia’s emergency services and industry partners. The application works across Australia, using GPS functionality built into smartphones to help a Triple Zero (000) caller provide critical location details required to mobilise emergency services.

Location accuracy is critical information for Triple Zero (000) call takers. The quicker an accurate location is established, the sooner emergency services can be dispatched and render assistance. With the vast majority of Triple Zero (000) calls originating from mobile telephones today, the Emergency+ application is a vital Government initiative to improve public safety and emergency service response times.


Battery backups and UPS

An Uninterruptible Power Supply is a mains-power charged battery that provides anywhere from 30mins to 4+ hours of power to the devices plugged into it, if the main power to your premises is lost.

In the event of an outage, the UPS instantly switches to its internal battery, meaning that the services plugged into it are not interrupted at all. Computers don’t shut down, medical devices aren’t interrupted, Internet services don’t need restarting.

You can get UPSs for general purposes, or ones designed to support a very particular sort of device. The more specific the UPS is, the longer its internal battery will last.

An everyday UPS cannot support the needs of an entire house; you’re better off looking at a petrol or diesel generator for that, in particular if you live in an area prone to power outages.

A UPS can, however, support vital communications services such as:

Other battery systems

You can get small, rechargeable battery packs, about the same size as a mobile phone, designed to charge small mobile devices such as phones and tablets via a USB connection.

They are not terribly expensive, available from any shop that carries electronic equipment, and can charge a mobile phone to full power in a couple of hours.

Many camping and auto shops also carry solar-powered battery packs. These may also incorporate a radio and lights or torches. They have a rechargeable battery charged by a solar panel and will come in a range of sizes and power options. These can give you power as long as the solar panel sees sun, and a good hour or two of power from the internal battery when there’s no sun.

Emergency calls using Internet voice services

Emergency triple zero calls are supported over VoIP and Wi-Fi Calling if there is no mobile network coverage available to make the call.

Your phone will try to search for a mobile network first, as this provides more of your location details to your chosen emergency service, but you should have no problems calling 000 using the Wi-Fi calling service.

There are some limitations when making emergency triple zero calls using an Internet service, including:

  • Most VoIP handsets require power to operate.
  • For Wi-Fi calling, you need to have a compatible device/plan from your provider.
  • Location services may not be automatically provided to emergency services. Emergency services will ask for your location when they answer your 000 call.
  • You will not be able to receive National Emergency Warning System (NEWS) SMS warnings if your mobile is connected over Wi-Fi calling.

If you do have Internet access, consider using the Australian Government Emergency+ App instead. It uses GPS functionality to help Triple Zero callers provide critical location details to emergency services.

General emergency advice

nbn™ recommends that customers put together an emergency communications kit, including:

  • charged mobile phone
  • portable mobile battery pack (you can get solar-powered packs, as well as ones charged from mains power)
  • all required USB-based cables for your devices
  • battery-powered radio

Prepare to be without internet and landline phone services for some time. If your location is prone to regular power outages you could consider investing in a UPS or generator.

More information