Wind and Tornado Protection
Tornado season is typically between March and October, with peak activity during late June and early July. Plan ahead to protect your family, home and business.
Know the signs and stay safe
While tornado warnings may be broadcast up to an hour before they strike, some happen without warning. Know the weather conditions that are favourable for tornadoes such as:
a dark, greenish sky
large hail, often with little rain
an approaching cloud of debris or cloud rotation with a rumbling or whistling sound
thunder, lightning and high winds
Take immediate precautions to keep your family safe:
make sure each family member knows how to take shelter during a tornado, whether at home, work or school
keep away from windows and go to the lowest, most central room – preferably a cellar or basement
have a 72-hour emergency kit close by – water, non-perishable foods, a battery-powered radio, a flashlight, extra batteries, a first aid kit, sturdy shoes for each family member, identification, cash and special needs items such as prescription medications
ensure your home is prepared for strong winds:
anchor heavy items that could become flying debris
secure patio furniture and garbage cans
Precautions before and after a tornado or windstorm
Precautions to take before a tornado or windstorm:
consider installing impact-resistant storm shutters for windows, skylights and doors (when possible)
install a self-adhering waterproofing underlayment when re-roofing and consider using class 4 impact resistant roofing when completing upgrades or repairs
secure patio furniture, barbecues and any other loose property when a storm is on the way
protect or move property that may be damaged by flying debris
if possible, park you car in a covered area
If you’ve been affected by a tornado or windstorm, that these precautions:
prioritize safety and be cautious when re-entering your property
don’t turn on any electrical switches until your electrical system is checked
check for fumes if you have gas service, and call the local fire department and gas company immediately if an odour is detected
assess the damage to determine if it can be cleaned up while taking proper precautions or if professionals should be hired
take all reasonable steps to prevent further damage to any valuable property stored in the basement by relocating items
if your vehicle is safe to drive, watch for damaged roads, loose or downed wires and fallen objects
don’t attempt to drive into a restricted area – follow the instructions of local authorities
document all property losses and take photos of damage where possible
Know what’s covered
If you experience property damage, talk to your insurance representative as soon as possible and know that:
most home insurance policies cover wind or tornado damage such as:
losses caused by flying debris and falling branches or trees
losses to your home and contents if water enters through openings caused by wind or hail
in certain circumstances, homeowners who can’t return to their home as a result of insured damage may be entitled to additional living expenses
damage to vehicles from wind, hail, ice or water is usually covered if comprehensive or all-perils auto insurance coverage has been purchased. These coverages are not mandatory, so check your policy
damage to mobile homes or trailers from wind may be covered. As policy wordings vary, it’s best to ask your insurance representative for more information
there’s is no such thing as an ‘act of God’ exclusion in any Canadian property insurance policy – insurers routinely pay for damage resulting from windstorms and tornadoes
Did you know?
There’s a higher risk of tornadoes in southern Ontario, southern Québec, Atlantic Canada and the Prairies. The interior of British Columbia and western New Brunswick are also in tornado zones.
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