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SHAD summer program focused on how Canadians can be resilient in a natural disaster

16 universities across the country will tackle this challenge as part of the 2018 summer program
Image from @SHAD_MUN

We've seen it everywhere, from the Killauea volcano eruption in Hawaii, to wildfires in Alberta and BC, and even closer to home with flooding in Brantford.

Natural disasters have a devastating effect on people's lives, and their wallets.

A thousand students working out of 16 university campuses across Canada will attempt to provide solutions to how people can be resilient in the face of these life-altering situations.

It's all part of the summer program from SHAD, based out of Waterloo.

Students will work in groups and engineer solutions that will be presented on SHAD's "Open Day" on July 26th.

Wednesday night, students were given their task in a video message from NASA and Canadian astronaut Drew Feustel, taped inside the International Space Station.

SHAD's VP of Media Relations Teddy Katz says the program gives students the confidence in knowing they can make a difference.

"The magic is when they come together with other like-minded kids, and with mentors in university settings around the country, it just forces these kids to move outside of their comfort zone," he said.

Also playing a part in this venture is the Insurance Bureau of Canada, who is the lead theme sponsor.

"In our line of work, we see the increasing toll that natural disasters are having around the world," says President and CEO Don Forgeron, "Here in Canada, insurers pay out an average of a billion dollars a year in claims relating just to flooding."

"But it's not just the dollar figure.  It's the toll catastrophies take on the lives of those affected."

He says this is why it's so important to have SHAD youth --- who he describes as "some of the brightest young minds in Canada" --- getting to work now.


Mark Pare

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