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Survey: Ready, set, take a step

New Red Cross research shows that more than three out of five (62%) Australians are deeply committed to helping others in an emergency.

"Our survey confirms that community bonds are strong across the country, with most Australians (68%) confident that people in their community would help others in disasters,” said John Richardson, National Resilience Advisor Australian Red Cross.

The research coincides with recent severe, unseasonal bushfires and dangerous predictions from the Bureau of Meteorology of more fires, extreme heat waves and other disasters in the months ahead*.

“The Red Cross survey** shows that nearly four out of five (77%) Australians have experienced an emergency such as a flood, cyclone, bushfire, earthquake or a terror attack,” Mr Richardson said.

“While most Australians have experienced a disaster, it’s surprising that less than one in two (47%) have thought about the risks of emergencies to themselves, their families and their homes.

“Our research shows that people who have experienced at least one emergency are almost twice as likely to take steps to prepare for future disasters compared with those who haven’t.

“It’s great to discover that three out of four Australians think it’s important to be prepared for emergencies, though around two out of five (43%) say if an emergency happens you just have to deal with it and not think about it too much beforehand,” Mr Richardson said.

Three quarters (76%) of those surveyed believed there were barriers to helping out in emergencies such as money or knowing how they could help.

The survey also finds that two thirds of (67%) Australians believe that severe weather related emergencies are happening more often and that climate change is a driving factor.

“The good news is we can all take simple steps to make it safer for our families and be ready for disasters. We don’t have to do it all at once. Each step we take makes emergencies less stressful and disruptive.

“It can be as easy as getting to know our neighbours and swapping phone numbers or building an emergency kit with precious items and important documents,” Mr Richardson said.

From September 17-23, Australian Red Cross runs its annual Emergency Preparation Week urging all Australians young and old to get ready and be prepared.

It could be you in an emergency, it could be you who helps. Take one step to prepare yourself, your family and home for an emergency: redcross.org.au/prepare 

* http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/outlooks/#/overview/summary

** Mevcorp conducted the survey on behalf of Red Cross with a random representative national online sample of 1000 Australians over the age of 18 between August 30th and September 4th, 2018.

Media enquiries: Angela Lemme, 0437 331 310 - alemme@redcross.org.au

Antony Balmain, 0408 018 609 – abalmain@redcross.org.au

Survey top line data:

  • More than three out of five (62%) Australians are committed to helping others in an emergency and most Australians (68%) are confident that people in their community would help others in disasters.
  • Nearly four out of five (77%) Australians have experienced an emergency such as a flood, cyclone, bushfire, earthquake or a terror attack, and while the same proportion (77%) think it’s important for communities to come together to be more resilient, we are not becoming more prepared.
  • Less than one in two (47%) have thought about the risks of emergencies to themselves, their families and their homes. Less than one in four (23%) have put together an emergency kit and around one in three (27%) have not taken any steps to prepare.
  • Three out of four Australians think it is important to be prepared for emergencies, though around two out of five (43%) say if an emergency happens you just have to deal with it and not think about it too much beforehand.
  • Three quarters (76%) of those surveyed believed there were barriers to helping out in emergencies such as money or knowing how they could help.
  • The survey also finds that two thirds of (67%) Australians believe that severe weather related emergencies are happening more often and that climate change is a driving factor.

We thank our partners Medibank Private and Land Rover for supporting our work to help people and communities prepare for emergencies.