Majority of Canadians not prepared for storms says recent Red Cross poll

Topics: National, Emergencies and Disasters in Canada
October 29, 2012


(Ottawa) – According to recent polling by the Canadian Red Cross, two thirds of Canadians say they have not taken steps to prepare in the event of a disaster, like hurricane Sandy. Most often they say it’s because they think a disaster is unlikely to happen, or they haven’t thought about it. This is despite the fact that nearly half of Canadians say they have personally experienced at least two different types of disaster. As Storm Sandy approaches Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes, the Canadian Red Cross is urging Canadians to prepare.

"Only 62 per cent of Canadians have enough food and water to last their family 72 hours in the event that they lose power," says John Byrne, director general of disaster management for the Canadian Red Cross. "This is despite the fact that more than 40 per cent of Canadians have experienced electricity loss for longer than this."

Nearly a third of Canadians say they have no disaster preparedness kit and no emergency food and water stored in their homes.

"One in five Canadians who haven’t prepared for a disaster say it’s because they’ve never thought about it," adds Byrne. "We urge Canadians to think about it, and prepare; storms like Sandy can happen anywhere in Canada, at any time."

By being prepared for disasters, families can also help their communities. In the event of a disaster, emergency crews are not able to assist everyone immediately. By being prepared, Canadians are allowing emergency crews to help the most vulnerable in the community first.

The Canadian Red Cross urges Canadians to make a plan and build an emergency kit. Visit for a full list of items to have on hand.

In times of emergency, the Canadian Red Cross relies on its network of thousands of highly trained volunteers to respond. Volunteers across Canada remain on standby to assist at home or to deploy to the U.S. to support the American Red Cross if needed.

IPSOS polling information is available at: