New research from NRMA Insurance reveals 77% of Australians are concerned about the severity and frequency of natural disasters, compared to 64% a year ago. The overwhelming majority of Australians (83%) are calling for greater investment in disaster mitigation, following the catastrophic floods that impacted Australia’s east coast in February and March.
The research, contained in the 5th edition of the NRMA Insurance Wild Weather Tracker (The Tracker) released today, also shows one in three Australians are worried that their communities are not resilient to wild weather and most want to see more action taken to prepare for the impacts of climate change.
Across the country, women are much more concerned about the growing threat of natural disasters compared to men (83% vs 71%) and more likely to recognise that climate change is making wild weather worse (86% v 75%).
The Tracker shows the huge impact of severe weather during autumn where NRMA Insurance received 25,000 home claims for weather damage, representing 80% of all home claims nationally. This means autumn was the third worst season for wild weather home damage since 2015, behind only Black Summer 2019-20 and summer 2018-19.
The data also reveals during the east coast flood crisis, NRMA Insurance received 30,000 claims for damage to homes, property and vehicles in NSW and south east QLD (between 21 February – 9 March 2022).
Taking a few small steps to both reduce our level of risk and prepare for how we will respond can make a big difference when the worst happens
NRMA Insurance Executive General Manager Direct Claims
NRMA Insurance Executive General Manager Direct Claims Luke Gallagher said: “Over the past two years, Australians have faced some of the most devastating natural disasters and extreme weather in decades.
“The impacts of a changing climate means that wild weather will continue to be a fact of life. As individuals, we are not powerless. Every household can play a role in understanding how they can be better prepared for severe weather.
“The recent flood crisis has strengthened Australians’ resolve for all levels of government to take action on climate change and disaster mitigation to keep communities safer.
“In January, we welcomed the Labor Government’s Disaster Ready Fund which has an annual $200 million commitment for disaster prevention and resilience initiatives. And this funding needs to be matched by the state and territories.
The NRMA Insurance Wild Weather Tracker also revealed most Australians are worried about their property being damaged by wild weather in the next 12 months (54%) and 40% do not feel prepared if severe weather does hit their suburb.
“Taking a few small steps to both reduce our level of risk and prepare for how we will respond can make a big difference when the worst happens,” said Mr Gallagher.
“This includes having an emergency plan and kit ready, but also making changes to ensure your home is safer, particularly those who live in storm or flood prone areas. Regularly cleaning gutters to stop water building up, clearing overhanging branches and other simple home maintenance actions can also reduce damage during wild weather.”
About the NRMA Insurance Wild Weather Tracker
The NRMA Insurance Wild Weather Tracker is released after every season outlining the volume of severe weather and natural disaster claims NRMA Insurance receives in NSW, QLD, the ACT, SA and WA. It tracks community research into the attitudes and behaviours regarding preparing for natural disasters and severe weather and includes expert advice from NRMA Insurance’s emergency response partners highlighting the critical steps people can take to protect their homes.