Red Cross is calling for all Ipswich residents to get an emergency kit and plan together after new data revealed less than one in 10 in the community are ready.
Penny Harrison from the Red Cross said the comprehensive survey revealed a growing sentiment that ‘anything could happen’ with heightened expectations over the last five years relating to heatwaves, floods, bushfires, power outages and cyclones.
“People in the local area are clearly thinking about what may lie ahead, with one in three worried about heatwaves, bushfires and nearly one in two expecting floods and heavy rain over the next 12 months,” she said.
“Despite this concern it is not translating into active preparation.
“We know the better prepared you are, the better your capacity to respond and recover from any emergency. Just thinking about it is not enough.”
Ms Harrison pointed to the strong correlation between emotional impact from an emergency and levels of preparation, with those reporting severe impacts from being ill-prepared.
“The impacts of emergencies extend beyond the physical, to people’s psychological and emotional wellbeing, with the survey revealing 81 per cent of respondents agree that being psychologically prepared is just as vital as practical readiness when facing an emergency.
“The research combined with our extensive experience in emergency preparedness, response, recovery provides evidence that the more prepared a person is before disaster strikes, the better their resilience and the lower the post-disaster emotional impact experienced,” she said.
Each year, Australian Red Cross launches Emergency Ready Week to remind communities of the importance of getting prepared.
The aim is to encourage as many people as possible, irrespective of where they live, to download the Get Prepared app and start the steps today or review and refresh pre-existing plans.
“There are a number of things we can all do to take control of our own wellbeing and preparedness and these steps can make all the difference to our ability to respond and subsequently recover,” Ms Harrison said.
“The App provides an easy-to-follow set of actions to help individuals plan for emergencies.
“The stress of a situation can affect decision making and reasoning so it’s important to have thought through how you will respond.”
58% of Australians expect to be impacted by heatwaves in the coming year
34% of Australians are worried about being impacted by bushfires
38% of Australians expect to be impacted by major power outages