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Only one in five prepared for a disaster


A new survey shows only 22% of Australians have a plan for how they will respond to a disaster.

Monday September 17, 2012

A survey commissioned by Red Cross shows only 22% of Australians have a plan for how they will respond to a disaster, such as a fire, flood, cyclone or earthquake.

At the launch of Red Cross Disaster Preparedness Week, National Emergency Services Manager, Andrew Coghlan, said disasters can strike anyone, anytime and being prepared is the best way to ensure the safety and wellbeing of you and your family.

"With a simple plan, you can help yourself, your household and your neighbours cope better if a disaster occurs. Knowing what to do, where to go, who to talk to, and what is important to you is the best way to be prepared," said Mr Coghlan.

Red Cross commissioned an independent survey which found Queensland is the best prepared state for disasters with 27% of people having a plan and Adelaide with 32% is the best prepared city.

"It's great to see Queensland and Adelaide taking the lead but there is no region in Australia where we have anywhere near enough people who are prepared for a disaster," said Mr. Coghlan.

"Red Cross offers a range of resources built around our REDiPlan that help people to be better prepared to reduce the impacts of an emergency if one is to occur. REDiPlan is based on four easy steps: 1. Be informed; 2. Make a plan; 3. Get an emergency kit; and 4. Know your neighbours.

"This week we are calling on the Australian public to get behind disaster preparedness by filling out a REDiPlan for their household and by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery. These donations are vital so Red Cross can be there to help communities before, during and after a disaster.

"In the past five years Red Cross has helped more than 340,000 people affected by emergencies, including the Black Saturday bushfires, Queensland and New South Wales floods and Cyclone Yasi. Despite so many large scale disasters in Australia in recent years, most people think it won't happen to them and are not well prepared.

"No one is immune from an emergency. We would recommend everyone fill out a REDiPlan for their own household and discuss their plan with friends, family and neighbours. We are about to enter the peak season for disasters such as floods, fires and cyclones, so now is a great time to get ready."

Visit the Red Cross website www.redcross.org.au to download a REDiPlan, donate to Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery and find contact details for Red Cross Emergency Services teams in each state.

Red Cross disaster preparedness activities are supported by Red Cross' National Community Preparedness Partners, First National Foundation and Medibank Community Fund.

For media enquiries please contact James Molan on 0448 571 484 or Katie Isaac on 0408 858 255.

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