During Emergency Preparedness Week: Protect yourself and your property from severe weather

Across Canada, severe weather is on the rise. Currently in Eastern Canada, many are suffering the devastating effects of spring flooding.

As the incidents of extreme weather increase, IBC is advocating to all levels of government to invest in mitigating the impact of climate change and building resiliency against its damaging effects. IBC is also campaigning for upgraded infrastructure to protect communities from floods and fires, improved building codes, better land-use planning, and incentives to shift the development of homes and businesses away from areas at high risk of flooding.

Who is paying for the damage that severe weather causes? It’s not just insurers. For every dollar that insurers pay out for home and business insurance claims because of severe weather, IBC estimates that the government pays out $3 to recover the public infrastructure that was damaged.

“Last year, insured damage from severe weather across Canada reached $2 billion, the fourth-highest amount on record,” said Craig Stewart, Vice-President, Federal Affairs, IBC. “However, unlike the 1998 Quebec ice storm, the 2013 Calgary floods or the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire, in 2018 no single event was a significant contributor to the high amount paid out for losses. Instead, Canadians and their insurers experienced significant losses from a host of small but severe weather events from coast to coast.”

Heavy rainfall, flooding, hail, tornadoes and wildfires can strike suddenly and devastate our communities. As Emergency Preparedness Week begins, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) offers ways to protect yourself, your home and your business from the effects of severe weather.

Take these precautions immediately to ensure you are prepared:

  • Assemble an emergency kit – include a flashlight and batteries, and a battery-operated radio. 
  • Move valuable items upstairs from the basement.
  • Clear eavestroughs and downspouts – if safe to do so – and direct water away from your home.

Also, commit to taking these precautions:

  • Create an emergency preparedness plan for your family.
  • Compile a detailed home inventory with photos or video.
  • Install a sump pump and/or sewer backup valve.
  • Elevate your furnace, hot water heater and electrical panel in the basement or relocate them upstairs.
  • Check with your insurance representative to make sure you have appropriate coverage.
  • Before you go away, arrange for someone to check your property.

Learn more about how to prepare for a disaster and ways to prevent flood damage to your home.