Canadian Red Cross and Definity offer life-saving preparedness information through virtual workshops

By: Allison Brown, Digital Volunteer
The Canadian Red Cross is a leader in working with Canadians to strengthen their resilience before, during, and after emergency situations. With the rising cadence of disasters, it’s never been more important to ensure staff have adequate emergency preparedness education and plans.
For over a century, the Red Cross has responded to emergencies and helped people prepare for them by sharing essential information and resources. Economical Insurance initiated its long-standing partnership with the Red Cross in 2013 after the Southern Alberta floods, and has been a long-time supporter of emergency preparedness in Canadian communities. 
Graphic of house on fire with text: Be ReadyBe Ready emergency preparedness educational materials and workshops are part of ongoing efforts to increase awareness and actions that contribute to preparedness amongst Canadians. Economical Insurance’s partnership has helped deliver Canadian Red Cross emergency preparedness training to over 23,000 Canadians and counting!
“Economical Insurance made its first donations to the Canadian Red Cross to help provide relief during World War I and World War II,” explains David Bradfield, Vice President or Integrated Marketing and Communications at Economical Insurance. “Nearly a century later, we began a partnership to help Canadians better prepare for emergencies in the wake of the Alberta floods.”
He continues, “In 2022, we’re proud to expand this partnership fresh on the heels of celebrating 150 years in business as Economical, and having launched Definity as our new parent company in late 2021. The Definity family of brands, which includes Economical Insurance, Sonnet Insurance, Family Insurance and Petline Insurance, will participate in the Be Ready emergency preparedness initiatives and the Disaster Response Alliance.”
“As disasters increase in frequency, severity and complexity, we’re proud to renew our national partnership with the Canadian Red Cross to support Canadians affected by severe weather events," notes David.

The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the importance of being prepared for emergencies. With the Definity family of brands’ continued support of the Be Ready program, Canadian Red Cross teams adjusted traditional in-person emergency preparedness workshops to be delivered in a virtual setting. This shift was integral to continue reaching people with meaningful emergency preparedness information during a global health emergency.
While in-person sessions previously included paper copies of emergency plans, the new virtual workshop includes discussions, polls, and fillable digital versions of emergency plans. Participants are guided through a 60-to-90-minute interactive session to learn how to prepare and protect themselves and their households in emergency situations, including:
  • Three easy steps to be prepared in the event of a disaster
  • Natural hazard risks in their communities
  • Tools to develop an emergency plan
  • What to include in their customized emergency kit
Alejandro Terrones, Director of Disaster Risk Reduction at the Canadian Red Cross explains, “Due to the pandemic, we have had to cancel our in-person events and workshops which promote emergency preparedness. By offering Be Ready in a virtual format, we can now continue to offer this essential and life-saving preparedness information, and in fact we now have the capacity to reach more people than ever across the county.”

A photo of a woman in a Red Cross vest and mask beside a photo of two women huggingOrganizations can host customized workshops for up to 40 participants, which are facilitated by experienced Red Cross Emergency Management responders. All participants receive a Household Plan template and informed directions for developing their own emergency plan. 
In a post-workshop survey, all pilot session attendees agreed they found the workshop material easy to understand, that they would be immediately able to apply what they learned, and that they now have the tools and knowledge they need to make an emergency plan.
One attendee shares, “All the information provided is very helpful and easy to implement.” All participants agreed their learning was enhanced by the examples and experiences shared by the facilitators, with feedback including statements like this: “I liked that Canadian Red Cross was on the line and had their own experiences to pull from and share with everyone.”
Thanks to the support of the Definity family of brands, Be Ready virtual training allows emergency preparedness education to reach even more Canadians, including those from remote communities that historically have not had the opportunity to access Canadian Red Cross emergency preparedness education. 

Be Ready virtual training can now be facilitated for an expanded number of corporations and non-profit organizations across Canada, ensuring more Canadians can Be Ready!
To improve your emergency preparedness, find out more about Be Ready virtual training workshops at

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