At Westland Insurance, your best coverage is our only policy, and we want you feeling covered not only financially, but physically as well. Over the past few months, BC has experienced several minor earthquakes, most of which were not even felt. In the event of a larger earthquake, or “The Big One”, we wanted to provide some information and tips to help you prepare.
Do you have an earthquake kit and plan ready? A Survey done by Emergency Preparedness B.C. states that only 13 per cent of households have complete plan. See the below steps to ensure you and your family are prepared.
Step 1. Be aware of the Risks
Even though the effects of most natural disasters are similar, being aware of the risks for your region can help you better prepare. Within Canada, there are many natural disasters that could take place, such as floods, earthquakes, blizzards and tornadoes.
Step 2. Create a plan
Every household needs to have an emergency plan. This plan will help you and your family know what to do in case of an emergency. The average plan takes about 20 minutes to put together.
The likelihood of your entire family being together when an emergency occurs is slim, therefore you must plan on how to meet or contact each other. This could include having a safe meeting place, having long-range walkie-talkies, and having an out of area emergency contact person.
Create a floor plan of your home that highlights all possible exits. Always have two exit routes from each room. For those who live in condos, always take the stairs in an emergency. Lastly, make several escape routes from your neighbourhood in case you need to leave abruptly.
Keep you emergency plan in your emergency kit at home and a photocopy of your plan in your car, at work and in your phone to make sure you always have it handy.
Step 3. Make an emergency kit
In an emergency, you will need some supplies in order to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours. Ensure your kit is easy to carry and keep it close to the front door where it will be easy to find if you must evacuate quickly. Download an Earthquake Kit Checklist.
Once you have completed your plan and kit, ensure that everyone in your household knows the details and where to find them. Also, make sure to go through your kit once a year, to replace water, food and any other items that may require refreshing.
Earthquakes are a part of life here in BC, and it is crucial for everyone to be prepared.
Do you have earthquake insurance? According to a survey done by the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), only 45 percent of British Columbians have earthquake insurance. If you don’t already have earthquake insurance, click here.