4818.0.55.001 - Household Preparedness for Emergencies: NSW, Vic., Qld and ACT, Oct 2007 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/06/2008  First Issue
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For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.


Each year in October the ABS as part of the monthly household survey program conducts individual State specific surveys. Household Preparedness for Emergencies was the October 2007 State Supplementary Survey topic for New South Wales. However, because this topic was of interest to other States and Territory governments, the survey was enumerated in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory.

The survey collected a range of information about households preparedness for and experiences of emergencies. This included the presence of safety precautions such as installing smoke alarms, easily accessible emergency phone numbers and having an emergency plan. Where households had experienced a recent emergency (in the last 2 years) information on how the household responded during the emergency and whether any changes were made to ensure better preparedness in the future. A breakdown by capital city and balance of state (except for the ACT) is available in some of the tables within the publication. The data is for use primarily by fire, rural fire, State Emergency Services and other government departments to assist in policy formulation and review, as well as by private sector analysts.


The Household Preparedness for Emergencies survey was conducted as a supplement to the monthly Labour Force Survey in the two weeks commencing 8 October 2007. The survey reference (or recall) period for individual questions varied, and was up to five years in some cases. The survey is an irregular survey and there are currently no plans to release another publication in the future.


The number of households enumerated for the Household Preparedness for Emergencies survey was:

  • 6,338 NSW households
  • 5,799 Vic. households
  • 5,216 Qld households
  • 1,207 ACT households

    The response rate was 93.07%.

    Two types of error can occur in estimates that are based on a sample survey: non-sampling error and sampling error. Both of these could have occurred in this publication. To assist users in understanding the estimate of these errors, relative standard errors (RSEs) are provided for every data cell in tables. For further information please refer to the Technical Note.


    The ABS has been conducting surveys of household and community preparedness for emergencies on an irregular and largely state basis. Previous ABS surveys of household and community preparedness for emergencies utilised a variety of sampling methods, estimation methods, concepts, data item definitions and classifications. These include:
  • Community Preparedness for Emergencies, Western Australia, October 2007, cat. no. 4818.5
  • Information Paper: Emergency Management Information Development Plan, 2006,cat. no. 1385.0
  • Home Safety and Security, Western Australia, Western Australia, 2004,cat. no. 4526.5.55.001
  • Community Preparedness for Emergencies, New South Wales, October 2003, cat. no. 4818.1

    For other related publications please refer to Related Publications.

    The Household Preparedness for Emergencies survey was not, and is not part of the ongoing ABS survey program. Therefore comparability is not recommended and extreme caution must be used when comparing the 2007 survey with other related publications as different methodologies have been used.


    Household Preparedness for Emergencies is considered an irregular survey. Therefore the estimates are only available as original series and are not seasonally or trend adjusted.

    Further information on terminology and other technical aspects associated with statistics from the 2007 State Supplementary Survey are available. These can be found in the web-based publication Household Preparedness for Emergencies: NSW, Vic., Qld and ACT, Oct 2007 (cat. no. 4818.0.55.001), which contains detailed Explanatory Notes, a Technical Note and Glossary.


    Data from the 2007 State Supplementary Survey, Household Preparedness for Emergencies are available in a variety of formats. The formats available free of charge on the ABS website are:
  • Summary of Findings commentary and graphs
  • data cubes which present a variety of data items in 13 data estimate tables and 13 RSE tables for each data estimate table.
            If the information you require is not available as a standard product, inquiries can be made by contacting the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Sarah Proudford on (02) 9268 4855.