Red Cross and NRMA Insurance Host RediPlan Emergency Workshop in Karuah

The abundance of information available in the Red Cross’ RediPlan waterproof pack.

A RE-ENERGISED RediPlan workshop program, focusing on emergency planning and preparedness, was led by the Australian Red Cross (ARC) and NRMA Insurance at Karuah RSL on Wednesday 8 May.

Only the second of dozens planned in the Hunter, Mid North Coast and Port Stephens regions, RediPlan has been in development between the Australian Red Cross and NRMA Insurance’s ‘HELP Nation’ campaign for several years, motivated by events like the destructive 2015 East Coast Low, and the devastating 2019-20 bushfires and floods, not to mention the COVID pandemic thereafter.

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“As emergencies become more frequent, intense, and expensive, we need to prepare to save lives, avoid panic, stress, and making mistakes, and help to cope and recover, making more adaptable and stronger communities,” ARC’s Karen Maloney explained.

“When we are calm, we can think more clearly, and when we can think more clearly, we can make better decisions.

“Your RediPlan should reflect our life and things that matter to you, considering the most important possessions, animals, family members.”

NRMA Insurance, established in 1925, now has almost a century of insurance statistics and research related to extreme weather.

This autumn is expected to bring increased rainfall in southern NSW, and more thunderstorms in southern QLD, eastern NSW and VIC.

According to NRMA Insurance, Karuah specifically sees 70 percent of events as storm/hail related including tree and water damage.

Pindimar’s recent ten-day bushfires were followed by torrential rains, further highlighting the extremeness of recent weather for attendees, who came from across the Bay.

Many attendees walked away realising just how unprepared they really were, and had learnt much new and vital information, including where to get information before, and during, extreme weather events.

Networks and councils, emergency services, the HELP Nation site, Hazards Near Me app and What3Words, as well as your own insurance company, can tell you about local risks, while the ABC’s official local emergency station is 1233AM, with different FM stations depending on your area.

Animal plans are essential in farm areas, and regions that can be easily cut off with one road in/out need to prepare to go without power for at least 72 hours – including food supplies and medications.

The Red Cross ‘Go-Bag’ program was also highlighted, encouraging people to pre-pack the utter essentials for when everything else goes catastrophic.

By Thomas O’KEEFE

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