NRMA Insurance launches First Saturday initiative
20 Aug 2020
IAG's NRMA Insurance business has launched ‘First Saturday’, encouraging Australians to complete small tasks to make their homes safer
Three quarters of Australians felt ‘helpless’, ‘anxious’ and ‘upset’ during last summer’s bushfires
NRMA Insurance has teamed up with NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS), NSW State Emergency Service and The Australian Red Cross to launch ‘First Saturday’, a call-to-action for every Australian to dedicate the first Saturday of every month to carry out one small task to make their homes safer.
The ‘First Saturday’ home preparedness initiative launches Saturday 5 September, following new research[i] which has found 63% of Australians want to do more to prepare for the upcoming bushfire season, after feeling ‘helpless’ and ‘anxious’ as they watched parts of the country burn during the 2019/2020 ‘Black Summer’ bushfire period.
NRMA Insurance Executive General Manager Amanda Whiting said: “There are a number of measures homeowners can take to help minimise the risk of fire, flood or other emergencies, which is why First Saturday is so important.
“First Saturday gives Australians, many of whom felt so helpless during last summer’s bushfire season, a tangible way to help by completing a small safety task every month to make their homes safer. These tasks are not chores, they are vital acts of help,” Ms Whiting said.
NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Rob Rogers said: “Last year’s bushfire season saw our volunteer firefighters go to extraordinary efforts to protect communities. While we’re still recovering from that fire season, some parts of the state have already entered the next.
“Doing simple tasks to prepare your home like cleaning gutters and trimming overhanging trees and shrubs, can be the difference between saving your home or it being destroyed. When a home is at risk, so are the lives of our firefighters who are called out to save it. Through the First Saturday initiative, we’re backing the call to encourage all Australians to play their part in making their homes and the wider community safer,” Mr Rogers said.
The campaign encourages people to take on a simple safety task on the first Saturday of each month – such as clearing debris from the yard, trimming branches or getting safety equipment for the home – to help our first responders stay safe. While each task may be small, the impact of not carrying out these tasks could be significant in the event of a natural disaster.
With more than half of Australians (54%) worried about how the next bushfire season will affect them and their community, the initiative aims to make homes safer, while also easing the pressure on the first responders who attend dangerous situations.
The campaign aims to re-invigorate the conversation around how 2020 began and remind people that prevention and preparation is key to keeping ourselves, and our first responders, safe.
Additional statistics from the research:
- QLD residents felt the most helpless during the 2019/2020 bushfire season (37%)
- NSW residents felt the most anxious (38%) and scared (23%) during the 2019/2020 bushfire season
- 68% of NSW residents and 56% of QLD residents agree that after seeing the devastation of the 2019/2020 bushfire season they want to do more to help prepare for the next one
- 63% of NSW residents and 59% of Queenslanders agree that they want to do more to help protect their communities from the threat and impact of bushfires
- 60% of NSW residents are worried about how the next bushfire season will affect them and their community
- 93% of QLD residents and 92% of NSW residents (91% across Australia) hope we can be more prepared in the future for bushfire seasons, so the impact is less devastating
- A sense of pride was felt nationwide, as more than 8 in 10 Aussies across the states felt proud when they saw the effort and sacrifice made by the first responders tackling the bushfires (NSW 83%, VIC 83%, SA 83%, QLD 85%, WA 85%)
[i] The quantitative study was conducted online by YouGov among a representative sample of Australians aged 18 years and older. The sample comprised 1,071 respondents, distributed throughout Australia including both capital city and noncapital city areas. The YouGov designed the questionnaire and fieldwork commenced on Thursday 6 August and was completed on Sunday 9 August 2020. Following the completion of interviewing, the data was weighted by age, gender and region to reflect the latest population estimates.