Kelowna, parts of BC interior brace for flooding: IBC reminds consumers to be prepared

VANCOUVER, May 12, 2017 /CNW/ - Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is encouraging residents of the BC interior, especially those in Kelowna, to prepare for potential flash flooding forecast to arrive this weekend.

"We have already seen the devastating effects that flooding can have on communities in the BC interior, and on other parts of the country," said Aaron Sutherland, Vice-President, Pacific, IBC. "Heavy rain, rising temperatures, and melting snow are adding to the already-dangerous conditions around Kelowna.  There is a need for everyone to be on alert. That's why we want to help make sure that British Columbians are prepared and ready when severe weather strikes."

Overland flood insurance has become more available across Canada in recent years. When severe weather occurs, it is important for consumers to understand their insurance policies and to know what is covered. If damage occurs, consumers should contact their insurance representatives. IBC is also here to help policyholders if they have any insurance –related questions.

Help protect your home from water damage:

  • Store valuable items in upper floors of your home, away from the basement.
  • Have large appliances, furnaces, hot water heaters and electrical panels raised up on wood or cement blocks. If you're unable to do so, consider anchoring these items and protecting them with a floodwall or shield.
  • Anchor fuel tanks to the floor. A fuel tank can tip over or float in a flood, causing fuel to spill or catch fire. Make sure vents and fill-line openings are above flood levels. For propane tanks, contact the propane company on best storage methods.
  • If flooding is imminent, shut off electricity to areas of the home that may be affected. Use sand bags or install flood shields or built-up barriers for basement windows and doors.
  • Create an emergency preparedness plan with your family.
  • Assemble an emergency supply kit.
  • Prepare a detailed home inventory.
  • Pay attention to local authorities and monitor weather developments regularly.
  • Avoid roads covered by water

If you have a claim, this is how to start the claims process:

  • When safe to do so, assess and document damage.
  • Call your insurance representative and/or company to report damage or losses.
  • Be as detailed as possible when providing information.
  • If you need help getting in touch with your insurer, contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ASK-IBC (1-844-227-5422).

About Insurance Bureau of Canada
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 $9 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $49 billion.  

For media releases and more information, visit IBC's Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau or like us on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1‑844‑2ask-IBC.

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: Andrew McGrath, Manager, Media Relations, 416-362-2031 ext. 4312 (office), 416-550-9062 (after hours), amcgrath@ibc.ca

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