4818.5 - Community Preparedness for Emergencies, Oct 2007  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/05/2008  First Issue
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May 14, 2008

One in five WA households will need help in an emergency: ABS

In case of a major emergency (such as a bushfire, flood or cyclone) one in five WA households will need some form of assistance to evacuate their homes, according to a report released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The most usual reason for this was because the household included people with limited mobility - such as young children or the elderly.

Additionally, nearly a quarter of WA's households did not have sufficient transportation if they were required to evacuate.

Almost 8% of Western Australian households have experienced a major emergency; one third of these said they would prefer to remain with their home in the event of another emergency.

In households that had never experienced an emergency, this proportion declined to one in ten.

The ABS also found that 16% of country households have a role - such as emergency services or defence - that may be called on to assist in an emergency; compared to 7% of Perth residents.

Other findings from the report include:
  • One in ten households have an agreed place to meet in the event of becoming separated during a major emergency.
  • Nearly a third (30%) of all WA households lacked stored drinking water.
  • Seven days' worth of food (not needing refrigeration or cooking) was available in 30% of Perth households and in 42% of country households.
  • Half of WA households had someone with a first aid qualification.
  • The majority of households had access to a phone: 90% had at least one mobile and 89% had a landline.
  • One third (32%) of households did not have internet access; this was highest among people living alone (58%).

Further details are in Community Preparedness for Emergencies, October 2007 (cat. no. 4818.5).