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More than half of Australians believe weather-related emergencies are more disruptive than terror attacks

That’s the finding of a NEW Red Cross survey* about weather emergencies and how prepared we are for them. More than half of those surveyed (57%) say a natural disaster could be more disruptive than a terror attack.

The research also shows that nearly two-thirds of parents (65%) with children under 18 are concerned about the potential impact of climate change on their children’s future.

“This research comes as the Bureau of Meteorology say that many areas of Australia are facing early season bushfires, hotter temperatures and below average rain in the months ahead,” said Red Cross National Manager Emergency Services, Andrew Coghlan.

 “The Red Cross survey confirms that Australians of all ages are acutely aware of the potential toll of disasters compared with events as extreme and unsettling as a terror attack.

“This is a timely reminder: there are simple steps you can take to reduce the impacts and improve your personal recovery should you face an emergency.”

“The good news is the great majority of us, around four-in-five people (79%) think it’s important to get prepared for an emergency, a slight increase from 2018.

“Australians are definitely tracking in the right direction, but we still need to take more action as our survey shows only one–in-five (19%) have identified someone local who could help in an emergency and only one-in-three (32%) have stored important documents in a safe place.”

“Parents with children under 18 top the country and are more likely to have taken actual steps to prepare, like putting an emergency kit together or writing a plan.

“Climate change and the mercury rising is on people’s minds, with around two-thirds (65%) of Australians saying heatwaves have the most constant impact on vulnerable people.

“Red Cross wants to see millions of Australians prepared for a disaster, because being prepared can reduce your stress and help you cope better afterwards,” Mr Coghlan said.

From Monday 23- Sunday 29 September, Australian Red Cross runs its annual Emergency Preparation Week urging all Australians young and old to get ready and be prepared.

You can’t stop disasters or emergencies from happening, but you can reduce how much they affect you. Take action now to prepare yourself and those you love for whatever may come your wayredcross.org.au/prepare 

* Mevcorp conducted the survey on behalf of Red Cross with a random representative national online sample of 1,000 Australians over the age of 18 in July 2019

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

Media queries: Angela Lemme on 0437 331 310 or alemme@redcross.org.au

This Emergency Prep Week, we thank our partner Medibank for supporting our work to help people and communities prepare for emergencies.

Top line survey data

  • More than half of Australians (57%) believe that severe weather related emergencies are more disruptive than terrorist attacks.
  • Almost two-thirds (65%) of parents with children under 18 are concerned about the potential impact of climate change on their children’s future.
  • According to their parents, girls aged 13-18 were the most concerned about the potential impacts of climate change, and  male and female teens aged 16-18 had the highest levels of ‘extreme concern’ of all groups under 18.
  • Around four-in-five people (79%) agree that it’s important to be prepared for emergencies, which is a slight increase from 2018.
  • Australia still needs to take more action to get prepared. Around one-in-three (32%) have stored important documents in a safe place. One-in-four (25%) have taken steps to protect sentimental items. One-in-five (19%) have identified someone local who could help in an emergency. Around one-in-five (18%) have put an emergency kit together. Around one-in-ten (9%) has written an emergency plan.
  • Emergencies are front of mind for parents with children aged 18 or younger: they are more likely to have taken actual steps to prepare, such as putting an emergency kit together or writing an emergency plan than last year. Around half (46%) say they have taken steps to prepare. 
  • Nearly two-thirds (65%) of Australians believe heatwaves have the most constant impact on vulnerable people like the elderly or those sleeping rough.
  • Regional Australian is the exception: they are more aware, engaged and prepared when it comes to emergencies. In regional Australia, around a quarter (26%) have put an emergency kit together and nearly four-in-ten (37%) have stored important documents.
  • Women aged 18-34 are significantly more likely to have written an emergency plan, while women 35-54 were most likely to have thought about it. Women above 55 are significantly more likely to believe in the value of being prepared and trust that the local community would help each other out.

What you can do

Get prepared by using these tools:

  • Download the ‘Get Prepared’ app, co-created with IAG to help you complete an emergency plan.
  • Create a personalised emergency plan with the RediPlan downloadable pdf. It’s based on four simple steps:
    • GET IN THE KNOW: about your risks, where to get information, and how to manage stress
    • GET CONNECTED: by identifying emergency contacts, meeting places, and people who can help
    • GET ORGANISED: with important documents, medical information, insurance and pet plans
    • GET PACKING: with a list to help you survive and personal items that are important to you
  • Build a survival kit using our checklist and include items that will help you survive an emergency and recover afterwards.