Fewer Than Half of British Columbians Have an Emergency Kit

Three-in-four residents think an earthquake strong enough to damage buildings is “likely” to occur in the next 50 years.

Vancouver, BC [May 22, 2019] – Many British Columbians expect to face a destructive earthquake, but most have not assembled an emergency kit, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 76% of British Columbians say it is “very likely” or “moderately likely” that an earthquake strong enough to damage buildings will occur in the province in the next 50 years.

When asked about their level of concern about specific emergencies they might face, British Columbians place “a fire” (79%), “an earthquake” (68%), “high winds” (65%) and “intense rainfall” (61%) at the top of the list.

Fewer than three-in-five British Columbians are worried about being personally affected by “a flood” (57%), “heavy snowfall” (56%), “a toxic spill” (55%), “a terrorist attack” (54%), “a tsunami” (46%) or “a landslide” (also 46%).

Only 46% of British Columbians acknowledge having purchased or prepared an emergency kit with supplies they might need in case of an emergency.

“In spite of the high level of concern expressed about an earthquake affecting the province, more than half of British Columbians have not put together an emergency kit,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Residents aged 35-to-54 are doing better on this particular matter (55% have an emergency kit) than those aged 18-to-34 (45%) and those aged 55 and over (39%).”

Across the province, two-in-five residents (39%) have prepared an emergency plan that includes how to get in touch with family or friends in case of an emergency, and just over a third (35%) have established a meeting place with family or friends in case of an emergency.


Results are based on an online study conducted from May 2 to May 5, 2019, among 800 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca