Canadians Not Prepared For The Emergency They Believe Is Imminent: Allstate

New Research Shows Canadians Recognize the Importance of Emergency Preparedness but are not Sufficiently Prepared

TORONTO, May 4, 2009 – The results of a new survey reveal that while Canadians overwhelmingly recognize the importance of being prepared for a potential emergency (such as an extended blackout, ice storm, tornado or forest fire), a surprisingly large number also realize they are unprepared and have done nothing to get ready. The survey, conducted by L�ger Marketing, was commissioned by Allstate Insurance Company of Canada to coincide with Emergency Preparedness Week.

The research reveals that 86 per cent of Canadians feel it is important to be prepared for potential emergencies and more than half of respondents believe an emergency will happen in the next 10 years. Despite this, few Canadians feel they are very prepared for an emergency, with 42 per cent saying they are not prepared.

“Our research has identified a large gap between Canadians’ perceptions of emergency preparedness and what they are actually doing to prepare,” said Christianne Dostie, Executive Vice President, Allstate Insurance Company of Canada.” Allstate is committed to working in communities and helping Canadians protect their families and homes before emergencies happen.”

Some interesting provincial statistics from the Allstate-sponsored survey include:

  • Residents of Ontario and Atlantic Canada are more worried that an emergency is likely to happen in the next 10 years than are residents of Alberta and Quebec.
  • Atlantic Canadians are more likely than residents of any other region to feel that an emergency is very likely to happen and they are also more likely to say that being prepared is very important.
  • Quebecers feel a lower sense of importance than the rest of Canada when it comes to being prepared for a potential emergency, with 25 per cent saying it is not important.
  • While residents of Alberta and Quebec are least likely to have prepared for an emergency, one-third of Ontarians and one-quarter of Atlantic Canadians have also done nothing.

Emergency Preparedness Week is a national event that takes place each year during the first full week of May. This year marks its 13th anniversary and runs from May 3 to 9 with the theme of “72 Hours…Is Your Family Prepared?”

During this week, many organizations ranging from government, police and fire services to independent companies and other non-governmental organizations work together, planning activities to help raise awareness of the importance of emergency preparedness.

Allstate Canada is the first insurance company to participate in Emergency Preparedness Week.

To coincide with Emergency Preparedness Week, Allstate has launched a consumer education program in association with the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR), which seeks to teach Canadians how to properly prepare for emergencies.

Central to this education program is Allstate’s interactive online resource centre, www.bereadytoday.ca which provides consumers with tips on emergency preparedness and damage prevention. In addition, Allstate’s network of trusted agents will help better prepare Canadians for an emergency by distributing over 5,000 consumer awareness kits in communities across the country.

“Emergencies often happen without warning,” said Paul Kovacs, Executive Director of the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction. “This means you may find yourself evacuated from your home, or without power, transportation and other essential supplies. Now is truly the best time to prepare yourself and your family for possible emergencies by putting together a complete emergency kit and plan.”

About Allstate Insurance Company of Canada

Allstate Insurance Company of Canada produces and distributes home and auto insurance products across Canada. The “Good Hands Network” enables consumers to contact Allstate through over 90 community Agencies, directly online at www.allstate.ca and through the Customer Contact Centre at 1-800-allstate.

About the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR)

The mission of the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR) is to reduce the loss of life and property damage caused by severe weather and earthquakes. ICLR is an independent, not-for-profit research institute based in Toronto and London, Ontario, Canada, affiliated with the University of Western Ontario. The Institute is a world-class centre for multi-disciplinary disaster prevention research. It achieves its mission through the identification and support of sustained actions that improve society’s capacity to adapt to, anticipate, mitigate, withstand and recover from natural disasters.