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Authorities warn those in fire zones to have options, as mobile outages leave people in the dark

3aw mornings

Authorities say residents shouldn’t solely rely on the Vic Emergency App for information on high fire risk days.

Neil Mitchell received multiple reports of people left without mobile phone coverage, possibly due to power outages at reception towers.

It was claimed back-up batteries also failed, because they hadn’t been adequately charged and maintained.

State Response Controller Tim Weibusch said he’d investigate those reports, but confirmed the back-up batteries had roughly eight hours of life.

He said those living in fire risk areas needed to have back-up plans for receiving vital information.

“We promote to our communities that they need to have multiple ways to receive information, so that if one source goes down – in this case mobile phones – you’ve got a battery-powered radio, or the like, to listen our emergency broadcast as an option,” he explained.

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