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Emergency Preparedness Week: Know the risks and prepare to stay safe

May 6, 2024 | By: Rob de Pruis, National Director, Consumer and Industry Relations, IBC
Emergency Preparedness Week: Know the risks and prepare to stay safe

May 5 to 11 is Emergency Preparedness Week in Canada. With much of the country being on alert for the spring flood season, and with growing concerns around the potentially dangerous wildfire season that lies ahead, emergency preparedness is more important than ever.

Public Safety Canada has selected Be Prepared. Know Your Risks. as this year’s theme. The goal is to encourage Canadians to understand the risks in their region and learn what actions they can take to help protect themselves and their families.

Severe hail and wind, flash floods and wildfires can occur with little warning and cause extensive damage to homes, businesses and vehicles. This is why it’s important to be prepared and to do what you can to help mitigate risk.

One of the most important steps you can take now is to prepare or update your personal property inventory, which is a list of your belongings that you maintain over time. If you do not have a home inventory, create one. Use our home inventory spreadsheet to get started.

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Keeping an updated home inventory will encourage you to have the appropriate level of insurance coverage and help in the unfortunate event that you have to make an insurance claim. Consider these additional steps when completing your inventory list:

  • Take photographs or video of all of your valuable possessions.

  • Keep the bills, receipts, warranties and/or instruction manuals for your more valuable possessions and store them in a safe place. These can serve as proof of ownership and help determine replacement cost.

  • Review your insurance policy. If there are any changes to your living arrangements or if you plan to renovate your home or build an addition, let your insurer know in advance. It may affect the coverage you need, and having the correct coverage is in your best interest – especially in the event of a loss.

Here are two additional, and equally important, emergency preparedness steps you can take now: create an emergency plan and kit (ensure the family knows what to do and where to go in the event of an emergency), and secure your home against severe weather (there are some surprisingly simple steps that can help protect your most-valuable assets).

For a complete list of long and short-term actions you can take now to prepare for the worst, visit our Emergency Preparedness section of And, if you have general questions about auto, business or home insurance, call IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC (1-844-227-5422) to be connected with an insurance expert. We’re here to help.

Stay safe and be prepared this Emergency Preparedness Week (and year round, of course).

About This Author

In his 30 years in the insurance industry, Rob de Pruis has held various senior leadership positions in claims and risk management at some of Canada’s leading insurance companies. As National Director, Consumer and Industry Relations, Rob oversees the activities of IBC’s Consumer Information Centres across the country, and leads the internal coordination of natural disaster preparation and response while liaising with IBC’s member companies. Rob also facilitates collaboration between the insurance industry and relevant stakeholders on special projects and initiatives, and acts as IBC’s corporate spokesperson on consumer-related issues.