part of Emergency Preparedness Week education campaign
HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA – May, 2004 – To mark National Emergency Preparedness Week, the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR) has completed a non-structural retrofit on a Halifax home to illustrate the simple steps Canadians can take to reduce our vulnerability to natural disasters. This home now meets or exceeds the rigourous ICLR disaster resilience standards.
“We are asking Canadians to take a more active role in protecting themselves and their communities,” said Paul Kovacs, Executive Director of ICLR. “By getting involved, we can all become better prepared to face severe weather or other hazard.”
Actions should reflect risk and geography, added Mr. Kovacs. Because Halifax is prone to hurricanes, ICLR installed protective window film to reduce the risk of flying glass. We also covered the oil tank to prevent ruptures, reinforced the chimney and removed a large tree that lost a main branch during Hurricane Juan and constituted a hazard There is a lot of science behind these and the other simple steps to be better protected.
“Most Canadians live in areas subject to natural hazards,” Mr. Kovacs said. One of the most common misconceptions among Canadians is that disasters usually take place somewhere else. In fact, natural disasters are occurring more frequently and with increasing severity, putting every Canadian at some risk. The annual cost of natural disasters to property owners, taxpayers and insurers is doubling every five to ten years. And the place where we are most vulnerable is often the place we consider a safe haven, our home,Kovacs added.
The annual cost of natural disasters to property owners, taxpayers and insurers is doubling every five to ten years. “The most expensive natural disasters in Canada’s history – the 1998 ice storm, the Saguenay flood, Manitoba flood, Kelowna wildfire and Hurricane Juan – have occurred within the last six years. We cant prevent these hazards but there are many simple actions we can all take to be better prepared.”
Information about actions Canadians can take to protect their homes from natural disasters can be found on the ICLR website at www.iclr.org.
Established by Canadas property and casualty insurers in 1998, the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction is a research organization, affiliated with the University of Western Ontario, and dedicated to reducing disaster losses through public policy development and increasing public awareness of disaster management. ICLR is committed to the development and dissemination of disaster prevention knowledge and ICLR plays a leadership role as it works to reduce disaster deaths, injuries, and property damage.