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Communities across Canada participate in national effort to build wildfire resilience

Coalition of non-profits, provincial/territorial governments and The Co-operators support Canada -wide action to make communities 'FireSmart®'

GUELPH , ON and EDMONTON, AB , May 1, 2019 /CNW/ - Starting May 4 , 125 communities across Canada will join a national effort to reduce wildfire risk to local homes and environments in anticipation of this year's wildfire season.

The successful community applicants received $500 to support Wildfire Community Preparedness Day events through a national program offered by FireSmart® Canada in collaboration with The Co-operators, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction and the Provinces/Territories of British Columbia , Alberta , Saskatchewan , Newfoundland and the Northwest Territories .

"There are 11 million Canadians currently living in areas that are prone to wildfires, but there are steps that can be taken to reduce risk," says Laura Stewart , President of FireSmart® Canada . "This is a shared responsibility, and through these community-led events, we can raise awareness, help protect homes and property, and encourage neighbourhoods to build wildfire resiliency."

Communities can use their award from May through September to host events that encourage people to adopt "FireSmart®" activities including proper maintenance and clearing of dead or combustible vegetation, wildfire-resilient landscaping, and using fire-resistant roofing materials.

The Co-operators provided $15,000 in funding to support communities in their efforts. Since 2014, The Co-operators has collaborated with the NFPA, ICLR and FireSmart® Canada to drive wildfire resiliency efforts and advocacy to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of wildfires across Canada .

"Wildfire Community Preparedness Day is an example of the encouraging and important work being done at the local level by Canadians across the country," says Rob Wesseling , President and CEO of The Co-operators. "Wildfire seasons are becoming longer and more severe and it's critical for homeowners, developers, government and the insurance industry to work together to help communities become more resilient."

For a list of all successful Canadian community applicants, and for more information on Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, visit: https://www.firesmartcanada.ca/wildfire-community-preparedness-day-2019/

About The Co-operators

The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian co-operative with more than $41.7 billion in assets under administration. Through its group of companies, it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. The Co-operators is listed among the Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt and Corporate Knights' Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada . For more information, visit www.cooperators.ca.

About FireSmart Canada

 FireSmart® Canada a is the go-to national program committed to helping Canadians reduce their wildfire risk and become fire adapted through community-based solutions. FireSmart® is administered by Partners in Protection; a non-profit coalition of federal, provincial, indigenous communities, private industry and municipal fire, emergency and land management experts. Through publications, programs, outreach training, and workshops, FireSmart® Canada provides tools for Canadians to become pro-active in reducing the risk of wildfire to their homes and communities. FireSmart® programs and products are supported through membership and ongoing active support from organizations such as the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre, the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, the National Fire Protection Association and The Co-operators. For more information on FireSmart® visit www.firesmartcanada.ca.

About NFPA

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is a global non-profit organization, established in 1896, devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. NFPA delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering our mission. Our mission is to help save lives and reduce loss with information, knowledge and passion. Wildfire Community Preparedness Day is based on or adapted from materials provided and owned by the National Fire Protection Association, a Massachusetts, USA not-for-profit corporation, all rights reserved.

About ICLR

ICLR's mission is to reduce the loss of life and property caused by severe weather and earthquakes through the identification and support of sustained actions that improve society's capacity to adapt to, anticipate, mitigate, withstand and recover from natural disasters. ICLR is achieving its mission through the development and implementation of its programs Open for business, to increase the disaster resilience of small businesses, Designed for safer living, to increase the disaster resilience of homes, and RSVP cities, to increase the disaster resilience of communities.

SOURCE The Co-operators


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