The Nepal Earthquake
Helping Casey get out

When disaster struck, we were there.

Casey Blustein was travelling through Nepal in April 2015 when a devastating earthquake struck. Over several days, we provided support to Casey’s worried parents and ultimately got Casey out of Nepal and back home.

Helping Casey Get Out

Read Transcript

Nepal – Client Testimonial Video

Casey (client):
What's happening?
It's the end of the world.
Gary (Father):
I woke up and I flicked on the TV. I think it was CNN. And bulletins, earthquake in Nepal, and I just froze. The casualties are rising every minute. It was devastating. I immediately called my former wife and she broke down, and I said, "He's going to be okay. We're going to find him." The stress was beyond belief. There was no sleep whatsoever. We didn't know where he was. Every hour by hour it was getting progressively worse. The fear grew exponentially.
Casey! Hi, honey! I can't tell you how happy I am to hear your voice!
It took about three days from the time that the initial earthquake happened to the time that I was able to get in touch with my parents. There was no Wi-Fi, no cell phone service, no anything.
The first thought was thank God he's alive. And then, of course, the next thoughts were how do we get him out? We had tried calling Nepal and calling trekking stations, calling Kathmandu. There were so many calls and so many attempts by us. Ultimately, we turned to his travel insurance.
Wink Bedard
(RBC Insurance – claims):
My first conversation with Gary, he had just found his son. He's trekking in mountains that have rock slides and aftershocks and the diseases that are secondary to natural disasters. The most important thing to do was to assess his medical situation. He was completely stable. The next thing we did was to look for a functioning airport in Nepal. We were holding flights for him to try and get him out ASAP. The whole team was emotionally invested in Casey's journey out of the mountains and back home to safety.
She made it clear to me that, Gary, we're going to do everything we can to help you and your family rescue Casey and get him out of there. And from that moment on, the whole team worked with me to assess the logistical nightmare that occurred over the next few weeks.
Wink Bedard:
What we can do is book the flight and we can get him out.
I feel far more confident every time I deal with you or anybody there.
I can't tell you how grateful I am for the efforts they made. They were so above the call of duty.
Wink Bedard:
We still are an insurance company, but ultimately, when we can step into somebody's life and help them, it changes the way they deal with their situation. And that's what makes this job worth doing.
We were just so delighted that he was safe and back at home. The tears were flowing.
I fell in love with the country, just the way the people live. They live the most simple life in the most beautiful place on planet earth, and they're all very happy even though they don't have very much.
I can understand that in the midst of the chaos and all the terrible stories in the world, it's nice to hear one that has a happy ending. Thank you for being there with our family to help us.

"I am writing to express sincere appreciation...for the tireless, devoted, compassionate support shown by the RBC Travel assistance team in aiding me in complicated logistics...of ultimately getting my son out of Nepal...their kindness, professionalism and help will never be forgotten."

- Gary Blustein, Casey’s father

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