Emergency Preparedness Week: act now to avoid heartbreak and regret

We’ve all got that one thing we would have done differently if we had that time again.

In Emergency Preparedness Week, (September 19 – 26) Australian Red Cross is urging all Australians to act now and avoid some of the heartbreak people go through after a disaster hits.

With increasing evidence of the long-lasting impacts of disaster, Red Cross Chief Executive Judy Slatyer says this message has never been more important.

“One in three Australians will face a natural disaster in their lifetime, yet most people still don’t think it will happen to them,” Ms Slatyer says.

The Red Cross RediPlan helps people prepare by asking people to start thinking about what matters most, then make a plan to protect it.

“Too many conversations after an emergency begin with “I wish I had…”. People wish they’d taken the kids’ baby photographs; kept their passports safe; upped their insurance; checked on their neighbours,” Ms Slatyer says.

“After the bushfire, the cyclone, flood, earthquake and storms, we see over and over again the regret on peoples’ faces.  They tell us they can’t get back the precious things they’ve lost.

“Emergencies can occur at anytime. For those caught up in them, disasters bring loss, stress, anxiety, relationship problems, financial difficulties and more, sometimes for many years. And in many conversations we have, people tell us they wish they were better prepared.

“But right now, before summer starts, you can plan to protect what matters most. And that’s different for everyone.  But the good news is that the better prepared you are, the better you can manage, both short and long-term effects.

“Red Cross has been there for people in emergencies in Australia and internationally for more than a century. Our volunteers and staff see how emergencies can disrupt peoples’ lives for years to come,” says Ms Slatyer.  “We want to spare people any avoidable grief and stress. Australian Red Cross has developed RediPlan to do just that. It’s quick, easy and will help you protect what matters most.”

Four steps to be prepared

You need to get in the know, get connected, get organised and get packing. 

RediPlan is free and helps you make your own emergency plan so you’ll know exactly what to do in and after an emergency. It shows you how to:

  • Prepare your mind for the likelihood of an emergency
  • Learn about the risks you face
  • Start a conversation with others about being prepared and build connections in your community
  • Help yourself and others
  • Pack an emergency kit
  • Identify those things most important to you

Get yours now at redcross.org.au/prepare 

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