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Natural Disasters - The More You Know, The Better You Can Prepare

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 05/07/14 -- As Canadians across the country participate in Emergency Preparedness Week, many will be surprised to learn just how vulnerable we are to extremely destructive and costly natural disasters. "Without this federally and provincially coordinated initiative," says Colin Robertson, Vice President Operations and Risk Control, Ecclesiastical Insurance, "Canadians might not be aware, for example, that next to the US Canada gets more tornadoes than any other country, that Canada records some 5,000 earthquakes each year or that, in 2011, flooding in Manitoba and Saskatchewan resulted in the highest water levels in modern history."

Over the last 2 decades, Canada has experienced some unusually severe weather related natural disasters. In 2013 alone the rash of severe weather incidents across Canada caused insurers to pay out a record $3.2 billion in claims and this year may well be another record-breaking one. However, as evidenced by last summer's floods in Alberta and Ontario -- natural disasters that resulted in unprecedented levels of devastation and human tragedy--the costs cannot be measured in dollars alone.

While Emergency Preparedness Week is generally targeted to individuals and families, Ecclesiastical welcomes this yearly opportunity to remind its customers that understanding and preparing for emergencies is a critical component of risk management. "While you can't control catastrophic events," Robertson says, "the more you know about them, the better you can prepare and protect your employees, customers, volunteers, visitors, as well as your property, its contents and, of course, your operations."

A Business Continuity Plan plan is critical. "A comprehensive plan," Robertson says, "has two parts--the Emergency Plan and the Recovery Plan. The former deals with managing the crisis and establishing emergency response protocols while the latter outlines procedures for managing recovery. Risk analysis and response are central to the plan. They enable businesses to identify the functions that are critical to the organization's operations and establish the policies that will help ensure the continuity of these functions in the event of an unforeseen catastrophe."

About Ecclesiastical Insurance

Founded in 1887 and with offices in Canada since 1972, Ecclesiastical Insurance is a specialist insurance provider. Working closely with the national independent broker network, Ecclesiastical provides customized insurance solutions and services to faith organizations, retirement communities, education facilities, arts & culture institutions, funeral service providers and registered charities and non-profit groups.

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