Start an emergency phone tree

Effort: Medium | Time: 1-3 hours

Man on a mobile phone

A 'phone tree' is a community developed early warning system. It is an organised way of contacting people in your neighbourhood to make them aware of the threat of a fire or other emergency. By setting up an emergency phone tree, you will help prepare your community, including any isolated community members, for emergencies and the necessary actions they may need to take.

Steps to take action

  1. A phone tree can be organised by a single person or small group of people from your community. Your local fire service may help.
  2. Identify members of your community who should be included in the phone tree. Include socially and geographically isolated people.
  3. Make a list with current phone numbers of all the people on the tree.
  4. From that list, recruit a smaller ‘key group’ of people who will be responsible for calling the other people on the list. They will form the trunk of your phone tree.
  5. Divide the people on your list among the members of the key group so that each member is responsible for calling three to eight people.
  6. Write a brief script for members of your group to use when making phone calls.
  7. Checkin with your key group and check that calls are being made. Update the list regularly and keep everyone informed of changes. 

Helpful resources

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