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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

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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.