Metro Vancouver Residents Say They Are Not Adequately Prepared for a Significant Earthquake

Only One-in-Four (26%) Say Their Household is Adequately PreparedOnly One-in-Seven (14%) Say Their Local Municipality is Adequately Prepared

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Vancouver, BC – A new Ipsos Reid poll, taken in the week following Japan’s devastating earthquake, shows that few Metro Vancouver residents are confident about our own level of earthquake preparedness. Only one-quarter (26%) of residents believe their own household is adequately prepared for a significant earthquake and aftershocks. Even fewer residents (14%) believe their local municipality is adequately prepared to respond to a significant earthquake and aftershocks.

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Fewer than four-in-ten (36%) Metro Vancouver residents think that governments have done a good job at ensuring that Metro Vancouver infrastructure such as public buildings, schools, hospitals, roads and bridges are prepared for a significant earthquake and aftershocks. A slight majority (54%) think governments have done a poor job in this regard.

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There appears to be at least some public appetite for increased government spending on infrastructure. Seven-in-ten (71%) residents say they would support governments making a substantial spending increase to prepare local infrastructure for a significant earthquake and aftershocks, even if that means cutting funding from other programs or services, or increasing taxes. Support for this idea will likely depend on the details, as only 14% of residents are strongly in support, while a majority (57%) are only somewhat supportive. One-in-four (25%) residents say they oppose a substantial spending increase to prepare infrastructure.

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Ipsos Reid asked survey respondents to indicate whether or not their household has taken some preparedness actions recommended by the Provincial Emergency Program. The results show that most Metro Vancouver households have a long way to go in terms of their earthquake preparedness. Of note, only one-third (34%) have an exit plan, only half (49%) have a three-day supply of water, and only about six-in-ten (59%) have a comprehensive first aid kit.

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These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid online poll conducted on behalf of Global BC. The poll was fielded March 17-21, 2011 with a representative sample of 900 adult British Columbia residents. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of ±3.3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The margin of error will be larger for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were statistically weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual British Columbia population according to 2006 Census data. The polling was conducted using Ipsos Reid’s “Voice of the West Interactive Forum” – an online panel of more than 6,500 British Columbians who have been recruited to match the overall characteristics of the adult residents of the province.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Kyle Braid
Vice President
Ipsos Reid Public Affairs
(778) 373-5130

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Metro Vancouver Residents Say They Are Not Adequately Prepared for a Significant Earthquake

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Kyle Braid
Senior Vice President / Vice-Président Senior, Canada
Ipsos Public Affairs
+1 778 373 5130