Allianz Australia partners with Disaster Relief Australia to help local communities prepare for future disaster events 

28 July 2023
  • Allianz will expand its partnership with Disaster Relief Australia to support their ‘Big Map’ initiative, that helps communities to prepare and respond to major fire and flood events.
  • The first of four co-hosted community sessions will be held in Kempsey on Friday (28 July). 

Allianz Australia has expanded its partnership with Disaster Relief Australia (DRA) to enable the volunteer-run non-profit to deliver its ‘Big Map’ initiative, that assists vulnerable communities in planning for future natural disasters.

The all-day events combine local knowledge with DRA’s significant disaster management capability to explore the fire and flood threats, challenges and risks to the community. At the events, local residents have the opportunity to see their community profiled on a giant floor map called a ‘Big Map’, prepared using DRA mapping and drone technology, identify areas at risk of flooding and fire, and explore ways in which communities can build resilience and help reduce the impact of future disaster events.

Allianz will fund training sessions for additional volunteers to allow DRA to keep up with demand and will also co-host four events in disaster-prone areas.

The Allianz Disaster Recovery Team will attend the sessions to provide general advice on insurance, including what to look for when purchasing a policy, simple explanations of key terminology and what customers can expect from their insurer in the aftermath of a fire or flood event. 

Sema Whittle, General Manager, Corporate Governance and Sustainability at Allianz Australia, said: “As natural disasters continue to occur more frequently and on a larger scale, it’s important that we support communities to come together to better understand the local environment and to identify ways to mitigate and reduce disaster risk.

“Disaster Relief Australia’s work is crucial in helping at-risk communities prepare for extreme weather events. Our partnership is twofold. Allianz will provide funding to assist DRA to run more sessions around the country, and Allianz Disaster Recovery team members will attend the Big Map sessions to help arm residents with the right information to ensure they’re adequately covered before a disaster, and provide information on how their insurer can support them after an event.”

DRA National Resilience Manager Adam Moss said: “Effective flood management, mitigation and preparedness help a community to build resilience and that is why initiatives like the Big Map are essential for Australia’s changing landscape. If governments, individuals, businesses, and industry increase their awareness and readiness for a flood event, while supporting the native plants and animals that rely on our river systems, we can reduce property damage, economic loss and disruption to assets and services.

“Insurers have a pivotal role to play in assisting communities to mitigate the impact of natural disasters, and delivering our sessions in partnership with Allianz will provide even greater value to the community.”

The first co-hosted ‘Big Map’ event will be held in Kempsey from 9am to 3pm on Friday 28 July, with four more events to follow in 2023 and 2024.

The partnership contributes towards Disaster Relief Australia's ‘Project Resilience’. Developed in collaboration with the Minderoo Resilient Communities Initiative, Project Resilience will by 2025 help at least 34 vulnerable Australian communities prepare for disaster. 

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About Big Map

Disaster Relief Australia understands that the best way for a community to manage and take ownership of its post disaster recovery is to ensure that community is heard, valued, and educated before that disaster occurs. 

Educating and equipping communities with the skills and knowledge to identify and manage hazards is integral to achieving this.

At a community level, building the resilience and readiness of individuals, families and specific organisations creates a stronger community better equipped to manage the challenges of a disaster situation and recovery.

For DRA, knowledge, and awareness of community vulnerabilities, strengthens our capability and capacity to provide relief and recovery when required. It also strengthens the bonds we have within the community.

A flagship capability that sits at the very heart of Disaster Relief Australia’s relief and recovery operations is the ‘Big Map’.

With previous operational experience and a trained ability to assimilate risk, and operational effectiveness when on a battlefield, DRA volunteers are well placed to guide community though the hazards it faces when a disaster occurs.

For the DRA team, community led discussions and forums, such as a Big Map session, are second nature. We do this via DRA’s Operational Big Map.

Based on military wargame theory, the Big Map is a visual device for stimulating innovative thought.

Created using drone technology, the Big Map is an opportunity for a community to gather and work together to identify risks, share experiences, and discuss ways we as a community can better prepare ourselves for events that may occur in the future.

About Disaster Relief Australia

Disaster Relief Australia is a veteran-led not-for-profit that unites the skills and experience of Australian Defence Force veterans and emergency service specialists to rapidly deploy volunteer disaster relief teams in Australia and around the world in the wake of disasters.

Disaster Relief Australia is not a part of any government agency or council, we are an independent non-profit who are here to help disaster-impacted communities in any way we can.

As a charity DRA relies on donations and support from the community to continue the work we do assisting communities impacted by disasters.

Since our founding in 2016, Disaster Relief Australia has deployed on more than 30 disaster response operations around the world, assisting more than 200 communities in their disaster recovery.

DRA currently maintain a growing roster of more than 2,000 active volunteers nationally with hundreds more in reserve. 

Between and during disaster response operations, Disaster Relief Australia engages our volunteers across Australia by providing additional benefits such as continued professional development, training, employment opportunities, community service projects and social events.

Disaster Relief Australia has Disaster Relief Team located in every state and territory nationally, providing us with greater capacity to assist Australian communities when they need us the most.

Our disaster recovery capabilities include:

  • Incident Management
  • Aerial Damage Assessments and Mapping
  • Damage and Impact Assessments
  • Work Order Management
  • Building Resilience and Capacity
  • Spontaneous Volunteer Management
  • Debris Management and Restoring Access
  • Expedient Home Repairs
  • Logistics Management and Humanitarian Aid Delivery

Allianz Australia delivers a wide range of personal and commercial insurance products and services to more than 3 million policyholders. It also provides support for workers' compensation insurance to around 25 per cent of the top 200 ASX companies, making it one of the leading workers' compensation insurers in Australia.

The Allianz Group is one of the world’s leading insurers and asset managers with 126 million1 private and corporate customers in more than 70 countries. Allianz customers benefit from a broad range of personal and corporate insurance services, ranging from property, life and health insurance to assistance services to credit insurance and global business insurance. Allianz is one of the world’s largest investors, managing around 802 billion euros on behalf of its insurance customers. Furthermore, our asset managers PIMCO and Allianz Global Investors manage 1.9 trillion euros of third-party assets. Thanks to our systematic integration of ecological, social and governance criteria in our business processes and investment decisions, we hold the leading position for insurers in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, launched on 12.11.2021. In 2020, over 150,000 employees achieved total revenues of 140 billion euros and an operating profit of 10.8 billion euros for the group. These assessments are, as always, subject to the disclaimer provided below.

1Including non-consolidated entities with Allianz customers.

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