IBC marks Emergency Preparedness Week with Top 10 Tips

Are you prepared for a natural disaster? Be aware and be prepared!

Toronto, ON (May 3, 2016) – As Emergency Preparedness Week begins across Canada, Insurance Bureau of Canada wants everyone to be aware and be prepared.

“Being prepared for a worst-case scenario will give you peace of mind, and if something does happen, you can react quickly to keep your family safe,” said Kim Donaldson, Vice-President, Ontario, IBC.

“Climate change means that weather events that used to happen once every 40 years could now occur every six,” added Donaldson. “The unexpected severity is why it’s so important to be prepared for the worst. IBC is encouraging Ontarians to take some time this week to make sure they have everything they need to protect themselves, their families and their property from the impacts of severe weather.”

IBC is partnering with the City of Toronto, the Ontario Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management and other local organizations to share the preparedness message with families across the province during Emergency Preparedness Week.

IBC’s top 10 tips to help prepare your family for an emergency

  • Create an emergency preparedness plan.
  • Assemble disaster safety kits for your home, car and office.
  • Be sure to have at least 2 litres of drinking water per person a day for up to 72 hours.
  • Know your home’s exits and nearby safe meeting locations.
  • Speak with your neighbours to plan ahead and share responsibilities.
  • Make sure your contact lists for work, school and attending to any special health care needs are up-to-date.
  • Prepare a detailed home inventory.
  • If you are away for an extended amount of time, have someone check your property daily and, in the winter, clear snow from the walk and driveway.
  • Put all important documents in a safe place and ensure they are accessible should you need to evacuate.
  • Ask your insurance representative about coverage for specific events.

Whether it’s a tornado, torrential rains or an earthquake, IBC stresses that every household needs an emergency plan, which can make all the difference. In fact, it’s not when the roof blows off or the earth shakes that you need to think about it. Every family should have an emergency kit handy with a 72-hour supply of water and other basics, including a radio, flashlight and first aid kit should someone get hurt.

There have been more frequent and more extreme weather conditions in recent years. “Extreme weather events which, in the past, occurred every 40 years are now happening every six years in certain regions,” explained Pierre Babinsky, IBC’s Director of Communications and Public Affairs for Quebec.

In 2013 alone, two episodes of torrential rains in Alberta and Ontario caused major damage that forced families from their homes, and cost at least $3.2 billion in insurance claims. “While we can’t prevent such occurrences, one can however limit property damage by taking certain preventive measures, and protect one’s family with a well-rehearsed evacuation plan”, stressed Mr. Babinsky.

For Quebec residents, infoinsurance.ca provides a wealth of information about how to prepare your home and family for a natural disaster. You’ll find the brochure Your emergency preparedness guide 72 hours, issued by Public Safety Canada.

In addition, IBC has been sponsoring La Grande Secousse du Quebec, an annual international earthquake preparedness drill, during which three simple gestures are practiced that could save lives, namely Drop! Cover! Hold on! This year, the Quebec Great ShakeOut will be held October 20.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

IBC is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 120,000 Canadians, pays $8.2 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $49 billion.

For more information, visit www.ibc.ca.

SOURCE: Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC)

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