These types of occurrences are not only costly, but also have the potential to be harmful to you and your family. Learn how to protect your property and stay safe from windstorms with these tips.
What is considered a windstorm?
A windstorm is defined as a storm with high winds up to 60-65 km/h with little or no rain. These high winds can be powerful and violent enough to damage trees, homes and buildings, but are different from tornadoes. A tornado is characterized as rotating columns of high winds of up to 70 km/h.
How to prepare for a windstorm
There are several different ways you can prepare for a windstorm. Most of them are maintenance tips which can done a few times a year such as:
Repairing your roof
If your roof is in poor condition before a windstorm, you might not be covered for damages. Check the state of your roof and look for any old or loose shingles, which could come off during a windstorm. Strong gusts of winds can lift and curl loose shingles, leaving your roof exposed for possible precipitation.
Remove trees and shrubs
Be sure to remove any dead trees or shrubs, which are too close to your home and any power lines. Although, be sure to comply with local bylaws. Look after the trees on your own property. Keep them healthy by making sure they are trimmed and without any dead branches. Contact an arborist if you have any additional concerns.
Reinforce the garage door
Make sure your garage door is sealed securely and can withstand high winds. If your garage door is not sturdy enough it can potentially blow off, leaving the contents of your garage vulnerable. A strong garage door will also help to prevent heavy rain from flooding in.
Secure any backyard and patio furniture
If any patio umbrellas or deck chairs are not secure or put away safely, they can possibly be blown away by nature’s fury. Flying furniture can perhaps damage your neighbour’s property, crash into a car or injure a person. If this were to happen, there’s a chance you could be sued for damages.
What to do during a windstorm
Now that your property is prepared for the windstorm, you need to think about how you and your family will stay safe during a windstorm. The first step would be to calmly lead all family members and pets to the basement or the lowest level of your home to take shelter. Keep away from any doors and windows.
If you can’t take shelter inside a building, take refuge in a ditch or another depression in the ground. Make sure you lie face down on the ground and cover your head and neck with your hands. Do not take shelter under a bridge or an overpass.
Review your insurance policy to make sure you have the best coverage against windstorm damages. Desjardins Insurance offers a wide variety of home insurance coverages. For more information, contact one of our licensed insurance advisors and get a quote.