Insurance industry honours community disaster prevention initiatives

MONCTON, NB, May 6, 2004 – Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) today announced the names of four communities and one organization from across Canada that have made exemplary efforts to protect their residents from the risk of extreme weather, weather-related events or earthquakes. The five recipients were cited under the auspices of Foundation for the Future, a national program that recognizes leadership in disaster loss prevention.

At a ceremony in Moncton, Mary Lou O’Reilly, Vice-President, Public Affairs and Marketing, IBC, presented a representative from each of the cited communities and the organization with an engraved plaque. “Natural disasters are hitting Canadians with increasing frequency and severity,” she said. “While often there is nothing that can be done to prevent these disasters, steps can be taken to ensure communities are better prepared to withstand the impact of these disasters.”

“It’s particularly appropriate to celebrate these successes during National Emergency Preparedness Week,” she added. “Each of today’s honourees has shown leadership in disaster loss prevention by going one step further to make its residents that much safer.”

The five recipients of IBC’s Foundation for the Future are Miramichi, New Brunswick; Cambridge, Ontario; Wood Buffalo, Alberta; Saanich, British Columbia and Centre d’avalanche de La Haute-Gasp�sie, Qu�bec. Their efforts include fire prevention initiatives, flood prevention programs, measures to protect the community from storm surges, overall preparedness initiatives and avalanche education and awareness initiatives.

IBC has been working with all levels of government to create a culture of preparedness and it is clear these efforts are paying off. On April 27, 2004, the Honourable Anne McLellan, Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, announced that the government is committing $14.95 million to establish and operate a comprehensive national emergency management system. The strategy will be developed with the provinces and territories, local communities, first line responders and the insurance industry.

Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national trade association of the private property and casualty insurance industry. It represents the companies that provide more than 90% of the private home, car and business insurance in Canada. To view news releases and information, visit the media section of IBC’s website at www.ibc.ca.