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AAMI adds bushfire alerts to mobile app as fire season hits

By  AAMI

AAMI’s West Australian customers will get a heads up on dangerous fire activity in their area through the insurer’s new AAMI Access mobile app, which provides severe weather and bushfire alert notifications for their postcode. 

The news comes after fires hit parts of the state earlier this month, the first in what is expected to be a very dangerous bushfire season.

“Mobile alerts are a great tool for giving people a heads up that they’re in danger, and they can save lives,” AAMI spokesperson Reuben Aitchison said.

“But it’s up to those living near bushland to get their bushfire survival plan and preparation underway as the fire season is nearly upon us.

“It’s critical that all West Australians undertake preparation works now as waiting until fire is bearing down on your property is just too late.”

AAMI has partnered with the country’s leading meteorology specialist, Early Warning Network (EWN), to provide the latest weather data, while the app uses push notification technology to push alerts to customers’ mobile phones to warn them of severe weather or fires.

Mr Aitchison said: “West Australians should be under no illusion of the very real bushfire threat facing the state this season. Fires have already scorched parts of WA and we can expect many more, particularly in the southern half of the state.”

AAMI research shows that as a direct result of recent bushfires around Australia, less than half (45%) of West Australians living in an area of risk have done maintenance around the house to prepare for the upcoming bushfire season, with just one in five (22%) preparing a bushfire survival plan.  

“The research shows that far too many people are playing it fast and loose and it’s simply not enough to ensure your survival.”

“Bushfires are unpredictable and can strike anywhere, and suddenly without warning,” Mr Aitchison warned. 

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) Country Assistant Commissioner Graham Swift said everyone needs to be bushfire ready.

“DFES is prepared for the bushfire season, however everyone needs to play their part and prepare themselves, their families and property for bushfire.”

“Now is the time to prepare a bushfire survival plan and ensure your family is familiar with it. Over the years we’ve seen far too many people wait until a fire is bearing down on their property before they decide they need to take action.”

“No matter how you find out about a fire – whether it is through family, friends, an app or the media, act immediately for your own safety – it could be the difference between life and death.”

AAMI’s research also revealed that a quarter (24%) of Australians who have had their car or home damaged due to a bushfire or other natural disaster in the past five years did not having adequate insurance to cover the damage.

Mr Aitchison said: “It really is important to add an insurance health check to your bushfire readiness plan, so if you are impacted by a bushfire you can evacuate with the peace of mind that you’re covered if the worst happens.” 

Staying up to date:

It is important to remember that the AAMI Access mobile app is just one way to get information about a fire.

Keep up to date during a bushfire by checking for information from a variety of sources including:

  • Your immediate surroundings and neighbours
  • DFES website www.dfes.gov.au/alerts
  • Recorded information line 13 DFES (13 3337)
  • Twitter (@dfes_wa)
  • ABC local radio and 6PR

Not all bushfires will have a warning issued, so it’s important to monitor your surroundings and if you believe you may be in danger, take immediate action to keep yourself safe.

How to prepare your home for bushfire:

  • Remove leaves from roof gutters and downpipes and fit quality metal leaf guards where possible.
  • Install a mesh guard on your air conditioner.
  • Cut back on any overhanging trees or shrubs.
  • Check the condition of external walls or cladding and seal any gaps.
  • If you plan to stay and actively defend your home, you will need an independent water supply of at least 20,000 litres, a generator and pressure pump.
  • Consider non-combustible fencing - this is more likely to withstand intense heat.
  • Enclose all under floor areas.
  • Have a non-combustible doormat.
  • Install metal fly-wire or solid screens to external windows and doors.
  • Keep your lawn short, rake up leaf litter and remove rubbish from around your home.
  • Make sure you have a hose that can reach every part of your home.
  • Store woodpiles and other flammable materials covered and away from the house.

About AAMI Access App

The new AAMI Access application, allows AAMI customers to manage their Home and Motor policies and claims in a single app. To receive push notifications, AAMI customers must set up the app with their policies as the app requires postcode details to send relevant weather notification alerts. The free app is available to download now from Apple and Android app stores.

About the research

Newspoll conducted an independent internet survey of 3,283, Australians, 18 years and over, across a full national sample in 2015.  Data was collected in line with ISO 20252 – Market, Social and Opinion Research and has been weighted with current ABS population demographics to ensure any extrapolation of results is representative of age, sex and area.