MRO Magazine

First Onsite reflects on the five-year anniversary of wildfires


Health & Safety

August 6, 2021
By Maryam Farag

Photo: First Onsite Property Restoration.

Five years ago, Fort McMurray, Alberta was hit by devastating wildfires. First Onsite Property Restoration looks back at the role of restoration during the catastrophic event.

The company released a survey of Canadian businesses revealing how prepared they are for disasters, and what Canadian companies would do to support their workers and families during a large loss catastrophic event.

First Onsite conducted the Business Preparedness Survey this spring. The survey asked if businesses have been interrupted by disasters over the past five years and the impact of the Fort McMurray wildfires was apparent.

  • Alberta led the country with one-in-five businesses interrupted by wildfires (18 per cent) three times the national average of six per cent. British Columbia, which has seen large scale wildfires in recent years, came next at 10 per cent.
  • Meanwhile, three-in-10 Alberta businesses expressed concern about future wildfires, with B.C. following closely behind at 28 per cent. These provinces were significantly higher than the national number of 17 per cent.

The survey also asked, “if a disaster were to hit your community, how would your business support its workers?”

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  • 76 per cent of Alberta businesses said they would provide flexibility with work to allow employees to deal with their home and family – higher than the national number of 70 per cent.
  • 71 per cent of Alberta businesses would provide constant open lines of communication and continuous updates – again higher than the national number of 63 per cent.

From a national perspective, over half of businesses (55 per cent) would connect employees with outside help/support such as mental health, community or government resources.

  • One-in-five Canadian businesses would offer bonuses, overtime pay and/or incentives for working through a disaster.
  • Lastly, one-in-10 Canadian businesses responded that they have not yet considered connecting employees with outside help or developed a plan to support its workers in the event of a disaster.