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20 January 2022 Posted by 


Blacktown the wild weather king
IT doesn’t take much to convince Blacktown’s residents that the area has some of the most diverse weather conditions in Australia at times.
It might be sweltering summer heat or freezing winter mornings that we dislike the most, but it is the region’s storms that wreak the most havoc.
And the gurus at NRMA Insurance Data agree with us.
They just released details of the record wild weather claims for Spring and it turns out Blacktown topped the list in Greater Sydney and was second in NSW behind Coffs Harbour.
Blacktown LGA made 9% of the claims and Penrith 5.4%.
The latest NRMA Insurance Wild Weather Tracker has revealed the huge impact of wild weather in eastern Australia recently with the insurer recording its highest number of home claims for weather damage in Spring 
The NRMA Insurance data reveals there were around 10,000 home claims for weather damage in spring across NSW, QLD and the ACT — which is 35% above average. Hail accounted for almost half of these claims after supercell storms hit. 
The Tracker monitors severe weather claims received by NRMA Insurance in communities across NSW, QLD and the ACT and is released after every season to help people prepare and protect themselves from wild weather. 
The data showed that in a typical Spring, wild weather accounts for 55% of all NRMA Insurance home claims, however in spring 2021, two-thirds of all home claims in NSW were caused by wild weather. 
With a La Nina weather system now officially declared for Australia’s east coast, NRMA Insurance’s Executive Manager Natural Perils, Mark Leplastrier, urged residents to take the threat of a wet and wild summer seriously. 
“Spring featured some of the most unpredictable and extreme weather we have seen in many years, and with a La Nina system now declared, we could be in for more wet weather over summer,” Mr Leplastrier said. 
The Tracker also features the latest NRMA Insurance research on attitudes to disaster preparedness and wild weather. 
The new research found 70% of Australians say they are worried natural disasters are becoming more frequent and severe - up from 64% in May 2021. 
The research also found residents are increasingly worried about the link between climate change and wild weather and want more done to help reduce the impacts of climate change and natural disasters on our communities. Key findings in the research include:
More than three-quarters of those surveyed recognised that climate change was behind the increasing frequency and severity of natural disasters;
82% think more needs to be done to help reduce the impact of climate change and wild weather on our community and 
When asked who should be doing more, Australians nominated the Federal Government 67%, State governments 55% and individuals 45% as all having a critical role to play.
Psychological preparation for wild weather 
just as important as physical preparation
“We have been studying the impact of the changing climate for nearly 20 years. One of the impacts of a warmer climate is that we could see severe hailstorms, such as the one that hit Coffs Harbour recently, become more frequent and trend further south over the warmer months in spring and summer,” Mr Leplastrier said.
“This means we could start to see large areas experience more frequent hailstorms. So, it’s critical people start to understand the risks they face and how they can prepare and protect their homes, properties and vehicles.”
The Australian Red Cross has partnered with NRMA Insurance on this edition of the Tracker. 
National Resilience Advisor at Australian Red Cross John Richardson said psychological preparation for wild weather could be just as important as physical preparation.
“We know that disasters and emergencies can upend people’s lives, disrupt mental wellbeing and fragment relationships and communities,” Mr Richardson said.
“A recent Australian Red Cross survey looked at the emergency experiences of people and demonstrated that the more prepared people feel, the lower their stress levels at the time, and the better their recovery after an emergency. The good news is being prepared helps us be in control and make good decisions during and after a disaster. 
“For tips on how to feel more prepared, I’d encourage all residents to download the Get Prepared app which includes tools to help prepare the mind ahead of what could be a wet and wild summer for many.”
NRMA Insurance recently launched the Australian Resilience Corps with the Minderoo Foundation, a national volunteer network to help prepare Australians against natural disasters and extreme weather. The Corps connects volunteers with existing community-led volunteer organisations to support work that helps communities prepare for fires and floods. 


Michael Walls
0407 783 413

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