Canadian Underwriter

IBC gives thumbs up to B.C. earthquake report

March 31, 2015   by

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The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is applauding the government of British Columbia’s earthquake preparedness report, which recommends that the provincial and federal governments engage with the insurance industry and other key stakeholders to develop a strategy on disaster resilience and increase public awareness on the need to prepare.

The B.C. government released the Earthquake Preparedness Consultation Report March 26.

“It’s clear, both from consultation chair Henry Renteria’s report and from previous reports on the subject, that more must be done at the individual level, and at all levels of government if B.C. is going to be adequately prepared for a major earthquake or other catastrophic disaster,” said a joint statement from the provincial Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Government Operations.

The statement said that the “province has begun or will begin shortly taking many important steps to prepare British Columbia in the event of ‘the Big One.'”

Among the steps:

• An upgrade to the provincial emergency notification system (PENS), which provides new efficiencies to get tsunami notifications more quickly into the hands of emergency managers in B.C.’s coastal communities and media, so that they may alert citizens faster;

• Undertaking an analysis of the future of the 9-1-1 call answer service throughout B.C.;

• Increased capacity to support future provincial-level catastrophic event training and exercises;

• Provision of $50,000 to Ocean Networks Canada to support research for tsunami inundation maps, to assist long-term planning in vulnerable coastal communities in British Columbia; and

• Updates to the Earthquake and Tsunami Smart Manual, which includes important information for British Columbians to help get themselves prepared for a major earthquake or tsunami.