Canadian Underwriter

B.C. earthquakes a “wake up call”

July 21, 2004   by Canadian Underwriter

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Earthquakes which shook British Columbia this week point to the need for homeowners to ensure they have adequate coverage in place to deal with the earthquake risk, and to the need for disaster preparation to be in place in homes.
The B.C. Automobile Association (BCAA) sent out the reminder to the province’s residents to review their coverage to ensure they have adequate protection in the event of a stronger earthquake than those experienced recently.
The Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR), an organization formed by insurers to promote disaster research and preparedness, says there are simple steps people can take to reduce their losses in the event of an earthquake.
“Perhaps the greatest tragedy is that many disaster losses are entirely preventable if people plan ahead,” says Paul Kovacs, executive director of the ICLR. “Simple, low-cost actions today can greatly strengthen communities’ resilience to natural hazards like earthquakes.”
The most common injury during an earthquake results from falling objects which have not been properly anchored, such as bookcases or large appliances. Homeowners should also reinforce chimneys, masonry and concrete walls and foundations, as well as applying safety film to windows and glass doors. Also, gas appliances should have flexible connections or shut-off devices.

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