More than half of the Great White North is unprepared for a winter emergency

Monday, December 18, 2017
TORONTO [December 18, 2017] – Canadian winters are becoming less and less predictable and this one is expected to be colder than the last, with snowfall extending late into the season. A study released today by RSA Canada found that more than 55 per cent of Canadians are not in any way prepared for a winter emergency, such as a major blizzard or an extreme cold weather event.

“Canadians can’t be risk takers when it comes to our northern climate,” said Anthony Black, National Catastrophe Manager at RSA Canada. “Most people will change to winter tires and get their snowbrushes out, but very few think about what they’ll do in case of an emergency situation. Whether there’s a snowstorm, flash freeze or extreme cold weather warning, we need to prepare both our vehicles and our homes for any surprise scenario. Now more than ever.”


Global warming is playing its part in the extreme and unreliable weather we’ve seen in Canada in recent years. In fact, the Insurance Bureau of Canada recently warned Canadians to be more prepared for wild weather due to climate change. But more than 40 per cent of Canadians don’t think they will be impacted by severe winter weather, and don’t make it a priority to prepare for such instances.


In fact, not only do many Canadians not see emergency preparation as a priority, nearly a quarter of respondents admitted they didn’t know how to build an emergency plan, or what essential items to put in an emergency kit – a bag that you can grab and go (or leave in your vehicle) in the event of a quick evacuation.


Preparing a winter emergency bag


Not knowing how to build an emergency kit isn’t a good enough reason to not have one ready. Check out RSA Canada’s “What’s in my Emergency Bag” video for timely advice on what to include in your emergency kit.


Below are the five Ps to help you pack your kit:


  1. People and Pets – Include a copy of your household emergency plan, medical history and contact information for your doctor and vet.
  2. Prescriptions – Keep medication and medical equipment handy so you can put them into your emergency bag at a moment’s notice.
  3. Papers – Make sure your passport is accessible and keep copies other important documents, like your homeowners’ insurance policy, in your bag.
  4. Personal needs – Stock 3-5 days’ worth of food and water (2-litres per day, per person), non-perishable food items, a manual can opener, flashlight, extra batteries, cash, extra clothes and blankets.
  5. Priceless items – Make copies of important photos and add them into the bag. Ensure other important memorabilia is within reach.


When we asked Canadians who have experienced a winter emergency situation in the past, more than half said they wish they had prepared an emergency kit:


  • 60 per cent wish they had prepped food, batteries, a blanket and/or an emergency plan
  • 20 per cent wish they had packed snow-related items, such as a shovel 


Winter emergencies can arrive without notice, but being prepared for worst-case scenarios will allow for safe and swift responses, no matter the situation. Being prepared with an emergency kit and ensuring your home and auto insurance policies are up-to-date will help save time and money from any resulting damages. For more winter preparedness tips, please visit


Survey Methodology

Conducted by Google Consumer Surveys from November 24, 2017 through November 28, 2017, and based on 1000 online responses. Sample: National adult internet population with a RMSE of 4.3 per cent.


About RSA

With a 300 year heritage, RSA is one of the world’s leading multinational quoted insurance groups. Focusing on general insurance, RSA's core markets are the UK and International, Scandinavia and Canada with the capability to write business across the globe. We have around 13,000 employees across the core business and, in 2016, our net written premiums were £6.4 billion.


About RSA Canada

RSA Canada includes Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada (, The Johnson Corporation and its affiliates (, RSA Travel Insurance Inc. ( which operates as RSA Travel Insurance Agency in British Columbia, Canadian Northern Shield Insurance Company (, Western Assurance Company (, Ascentus Insurance Ltd., and Quebec Assurance Company.

“RSA™” is a trademark owned by RSA Insurance Group plc, licensed for use by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada.

For more information, please contact:

Siriphone Maldonado, RSA Canada, [email protected]

Melissa Vekil, APEX Public Relations, [email protected]





Media Enquiries: 
Siriphone Maldonado
Media Relations, RSA Canada
(416) 366-7511
Melissa Vekil
Media Relations, APEX PR
(416) 924-4442