As Canadians get ready for another fun-filled summer, the Insurance Bureau of Canada reminds them that exciting vacation plans can be cut short if they don't prepare for emergencies - as they tend to occur when they're least expected.
This being Emergency Preparedness Week, the IBC says families should use the week to help guarantee their summer goes swimmingly by preparing themselves. Lindsay Olson, IBC vice president, indicated she has seen what can happen when precautions aren't made, as a home insurance plan can only go so far in protecting one's valuables and security.
"Our industry has seen first-hand the devastating impact that disasters can have on individuals, families and communities," said Olson. "Insurers will be there to help when disasters strike, but a little preparation can go a long way to minimize the impact of an emergency."
She added that if Canadians stick to a few safety precautions, they can lessen the severity of a disaster.
One way of going about this is developing an emergency plan and going over it with the family now and again so that it's committed to memory. This will enable each family member to know exactly what they should do and where to go in the event of an emergency. The Government of Canada has some additional tips on developing an emergency plan.
Something else to develop is an emergency kit with basic supplies, such as bandages, bottled water, flashlights and batteries. Food and other necessities should be included so that each person is capable of sustaining themselves for a minimum of 72 hours.
Another recommendation is to try to get an understanding of what risks are specific to their region. For example, while tornadoes may be more likely to affect Alberta, Ontario may be more prone to receiving floods. Homeowners should then prepare and protect their homes accordingly.
But homeowners aren't the only ones who need to prepare for emergencies - business owners do as well. Jason Reid, owner and principal consultant for the National Life Safety Group, noted how business owners should do all they can to prepare their staff for disaster, especially when it comes to fires in the Greater Toronto Area.
"We currently have a serious fire and life safety gap in our city," said Reid. "That's why we focus exclusively on training both the public and private sector to identify life safety risks in their buildings and workplaces. Properly trained staff can mitigate the impacts of these emergencies, speed up the investigative process and lead to a seamless procedure, saving time, lives and preventing millions of dollars in unnecessary property damage."