It’s Friday the 13th – are you ready? #emergencypreparedness

It’s Friday the 13th.

I’m not a Knight Templar, so I’m sure I’m safe as houses. Or am I?

Stepping into my professional persona for a moment, the insurance industry is first and foremost composed of your friends, neighbours and family members. We want you safe, healthy and to live long, happy lives.

Emergency preparedness is a big part of the safe, healthy and long-lived part of life.

Personally, I always expect the worst but pray for the best. I see no reason not to be ready and my life experiences with emergencies have backed up that view.

I live in Canada, the best country in the world, in Toronto, one of the safest cities in the world. Yet I have an emergency plan and kit ready in case the worst happens.

I’m not going to repeat everything you need in a kit; the Government of Canada has an excellent guide available here  and the Canadian Red Cross has a great planning site.

However, my personal experiences have led me to add a few things to my kit over the years.

Here are my 10 must-adds for emergencies:

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The Weekly Op-Ed: See Jane Do – Complex Disruptors

Jane Jacobs was passionate about cities not because of buildings but rather because of the people in them. Jane was, after all, the undisputed master of citizen engagement and successful calls to action, much to Robert Moses’ chagrin.


Her observations and common-sense approach to understanding why certain urban environments work, why some don’t (and how to fix those that don’t) rewrote the landscape of city livability. Here in #the6ix, I just have to look at Toronto’s thankfully non-existent Spadina Expressway or the now-thriving areas of Regent Park or the Distillery District to see Jane’s vision as a happy reality.

There are many lessons we can learn and leverage from exploring how Jane Jacobs disrupted and innovated urban planning to meet the needs of a diverse, high-density population of end-users. Continue reading