Natural disasters and severe weather events are a growing and costly issue in Canada, costing insurers an average of $200 million between 1989 – 2008, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s 2015 Fact Book.
It’s awareness of these risks that the IBC looks to address with the launch of Emergency Preparedness Week in Ontario and other Canadian markets.
"Climate change means that weather events that used to happen once every 40 years could now occur every six," stated Kim Donaldson, vice-president, Ontario, IBC. “The unexpected severity is why it's so important to be prepared for the worst.”
There are a number of initiatives launching in partnership with the event, including the release of the Canadian Red Cross’s Be Ready app. The app, which is free for download on Apple and Android devices, is designed to help Canadians determine a course of action in an emergency, keep track of loved ones, directions on how to build an emergency kit, as well as a built-in flashlight and alarm.
Meanwhile, BC residents are bracing for the “big one” as the IBC brings its Shake Zone earthquake simulator on location to Whistler’s Emergency Preparedness Fair on May 11. “Research tells us that there is a 30% chance that significant earthquake will strike southwestern British Columbia in the next 50 years,” states the IBC on its website. “It's not a question of ‘if’ but ‘when’.” The Shake Zone, which gives residents the opportunity to experience an 8.0-magnitude quake first-hand, will tour throughout British Columbia until June 7.