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COVID sea/tree changers mindless of extreme weather

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Australians are relocating from urban areas to rural and coastal locations without consideration of the impact of natural disasters, Suncorp says.

A recent national survey of 1,499 Australians on behalf of Suncorp found a fifth did not consider frequency or severity of natural disasters before embarking on sea or tree change.

The research, detailed in the Suncorp Resilient Home Report, found 27% of Australians moved, or considered moving, for a sea/tree change during COVID, but failed to consider the impacts of natural disasters when moving.

Around half admitted to not taking into consideration the increasing risks of extreme weather when deciding on where to live, or considering the impacts when selecting the type of home to live in.

“The pandemic has impacted how people live with many considering moving regionally for a lifestyle change. However, many Australians are failing to consider the impacts of natural disasters in planning where they live,” Suncorp Insurance Product & Portfolio CEO Lisa Harrison said.

“This research aims to shine a spotlight on, and more deeply understand the mindsets, behaviours and attitudes of Australians towards making their homes more resilient against the upcoming summer natural hazard season.”

The report outlines measures Australians can take to better prepare for extreme weather events, saying mesh screens will help slow down flame spread during a bushfire, a dual tank system of two galvanised water tanks – one for firefighting – protects if disconnected from the main water source, PVC gutter fixings melt and safely fall away from the house which helps protect the home from embers, and electrical wiring in the roof and power points at least one metre above floor level helps during flooding.

“Australia needs to address climate risk and disaster mitigation, rather than disaster clean-up,” Ms Harrison said. “We hope our Suncorp Resilient Home Report will raise awareness.”