IBC helps better prepare British Columbians for next big one for Emergency Preparedness Week

VANCOUVER, May 6, 2013 /CNW/ - For Emergency Preparedness Week Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is helping British Columbians better prepare for an earthquake. Now more than ever British Columbians realize that they live in an active earthquake zone. While we cannot predict when one will happen, we can prepare and the time to do so is now.

In a recent 2012 Angus Reid opinion poll of 800 randomly selected British Columbians, commissioned by the BC ShakeOut, 61% revealed they are concerned about being personally affected by an earthquake. Additionally, 87% think it is likely that an earthquake strong enough to damage buildings will occur in BC in the next 50 years.

"The risk of a catastrophic earthquake in BC is very real," says Bill Adams, VP, Western and Pacific, IBC. "One of the critical ways you can protect your family is to practice the drop, cover and hold on emergency response and learn how to sustain you and your family in the days after an earthquake hits by practicing an emergency plan and preparing an emergency kit."

The following are a list of tips IBC recommends to help you better prepare for an earthquake:

Before an earthquake

  • Every household should have an emergency plan. It will help you and your family know what to do in case of an emergency. Be sure to practice your emergency plan.
  • Have an emergency kit with basic supplies. Be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 3 days.
  • Know the safe and dangerous places in your home.
  • Talk to your family about what to do if they're at home, at school or work, if the quake separates you.
  • Prepare your home for an earthquake.
  • Make an appointment with your insurance representative to talk about earthquake insurance. Review your needs and coverage - this will affect your loss and financial ability to recover after a quake.

During and after an earthquake

  • Practising helps you be ready to respond in the first life-saving seconds of shaking. When an earthquake strikes, drop, cover and hold on.
  • Look around you for hazards like falling debris and shattered glass and shield yourself.
  • If you are inside a building when the shaking starts, move no more than a few steps before dropping, covering and holding-on. Stay indoors until the shaking stops and then exit the building.
  • If you are outdoors when the shaking starts, you should find a clear spot away from buildings, trees, streetlights and power lines, then drop, cover and hold on.
  • If you are driving, pull over to a clear location, stop and stay there with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking stops. Once the shaking stops, proceed with caution and avoid bridges or ramps that might have been damaged.
  • Expect aftershocks and remain vigilant. These secondary shockwaves can occur within the first minutes, hours, days or weeks and can cause additional damage to weakened structures.
  • It is just as important to learn what to do after a quake hits.

(Sources: IBC and Ministry of Justice, Government Communications and Public Engagement)

To learn more:

About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, car and business insurers. Its member companies represent 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. The P&C insurance industry employs over 115,000 Canadians, pays more than $7 billion in taxes to the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and has a total premium base of $44 billion.

To view media releases and other information, visit the media section of IBC's website at www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau or like us on Facebook.

If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release.

SOURCE: INSURANCE BUREAU OF CANADA

For further information:

To schedule an interview, please contact:

Steve Kee
Director, Media Relations
Insurance Bureau of Canada
416-362-2031 X-4387
416-841-5669
skee@ibc.ca

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