NSW Rural Fire Service: Turning Apathy into Action

Angela Morris
J. Walter Thompson, Sydney


How do you change behavior when the very real potential of death itself isn't enough?

Every year bushfires pose a serious threat to Australian homes and lives. Householders that prepare their homes and have a plan of action for a bush fire are significantly more likely to escape unscathed. Yet, almost half of high-risk NSW householders were failing to prepare, adopting a 'wait and see' approach.

Our objective was to increase the number of at risk households that understood their level of risk and did something about it via planning or action. To achieve this we faced several significant barriers:

Lack of Risk Perception

Only 18% in high risk areas think their homes are at risk1