May 6, 2004 by Canadian Underwriter
Concurrent with national “Emergency Preparedness Week”, the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR) and the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) are promoting disaster reduction and mitigation efforts in Canada.
The ICLR completed a non-structural retrofit on a Halifax home to underscore the simple modifications that can be made by homeowners to protect their houses from natural disaster.
In the aftermath of last fall’s Hurricane Juan, the need for disaster mitigation is apparent. The retrofitted home includes protective window films, a cover for the oil tank, reinforced chimney and the removal of trees that could create hazards.
“We are asking Canadians to take a more active role in protecting themselves and their communities,” says ICLR executive director Paul Kovacs. “By getting involved, we can all become better prepared to face severe weather or other hazard.”
He adds that the cost of natural disasters is doubling every five to ten years, with the top five most costly natural disasters taking place in the last six years: the 1998 ice storm, the Saguenay and Manitoba floods, and last year’s Kelowna wildfires and Hurricane Juan.
In this same vein, the IBC announced winners of its “Foundation for the Future” grants, which go to communities who undertake disaster prevention and mitigation efforts. This year’s winners are: Miramichi, NB; Cambridge, ON; Wood Buffalo, AB; Saanich, BC; and Centre d’avalanche de La Haute-Gaspsie, QC.
Presenting the awards in Moncton, NB, IBC vice president of public affairs Mary Lou O’Reilly noted, “It’s particularly appropriate to celebrate these successes during National Emergency Preparedness Week. Each of today’s honorees has shown leadership in disaster loss prevention by going one step further to make its residents that much safer.”