With temperatures tipped to hit the high 40s in some areas across the country this week, NRMA Insurance and the Australian Red Cross are urging Australians to get a plan in place and be prepared against the heightened risk of bushfires and home fires.
The warning comes as recent research by NRMA Insurance revealed that while 63% of NSW and QLD residents believe they can quickly evacuate their home in an emergency, only 33% said they actually have an emergency plan in place, and even fewer Australians said they have an emergency kit at home.
“With severe heatwaves predicted across the country this week, we’re reminding Australians to be alert for bushfires in their area and be prepared,” Alex Mazzoni, NRMA Insurance partnerships manager, told news.com.au. “We know that only one in three people have an emergency plan in place, which means unfortunately many people often leave it too late to make critical decisions in a bushfire.”
NRMA and the Red Cross jointly developed an app, Get Prepared, to assist Australians in creating their own emergency plan, help people connect quickly with others during an emergency, and access tips on how to best protect their homes.
“We are in greater danger than ever from such disasters but by taking simple steps to prepare or to review your plans, you’re preparing mentally and physically to act,” John Richardson, Australian Red Cross, national resilience adviser, told the news website. “Right now, with the threat of heat and fires, keep an eye on advice from your local fire service, make sure the people on your emergency plan know what you’ll do and where you’ll go in the event of a fire, check off and perhaps gather the items listed on your survival kit list, and plan for pets or livestock.”
Richard said that while fires may be through in an instant, its impacts can be felt for months and years, news.com.au reported.