Severe weather: how to protect your property
PREVENTING WATER DAMAGE: TIPS FOR YOUR HOME
Homeowners, condo owners and tenants all have the same formidable foe in common: water damage. Just think back to the flooding we had in Quebec in spring 2017 (article in French only), which affected some 5,300 homes, forced 4,000 people to evacuate and led to more than 180 landslides. Here’s a few quick things to check before the snow melts or heavy rain starts falling:
- Make sure your drain is not blocked and that your backwater valve is working.
- Since the basement is the 1st part of your home to be affected by flooding, avoid storing valuable items there, like official documents or art. Damage to them would be really hard to repair.
- If you live in a flood zone, you’ll want to take some extra precautions and follow some tips to make your home flood ready.
- In the event of severe weather, unplug all radios, TVs, electronic devices and household appliances to prevent damage from short-circuiting or power surges.
OUTDOOR SET-UP: TAKE IT ALL INSIDE
If windstorms or hailstorms are in the forecast, these few easy actions can help you prevent damage to your property and neighbourhood.
- Remove the canvas from gazebos and close awnings to avoid damage.
- Bring your barbecue grill, lawn furniture, and potted plants indoors.
- Store trash and recycling bins in an enclosed area, or firmly attach them to something so the wind can’t blow them away or knock them over.
- Make sure your eavestroughs are clear of debris so that they don’t overflow.
- If you use a portable car shelter in winter, make sure it’s completely closed so that the wind and snow can’t get in or sweep it away. And by the way, make sure you sent it up properly in the fall—portable car shelters need to be firmly anchored into the ground.
PROTECT YOUR CAR FROM HAIL AND ICE
People often forget cars can also be destroyed in severe weather. For example, on average Quebec gets hail 19 days a year (article in French only) mainly between April and September, and it sometimes results in costly damage.
- In the event of hail (and if you actually can), park your car in the garage, under your portable car shelter or anywhere else with a roof to prevent hail from damaging the body or windshield of your car.
- If you know an ice storm is coming, park your car under a shelter if you can. At the very least, avoid parking under a tree—otherwise, branches (or even the entire tree) could fall under the weight of the ice and crush your car.
- In bad weather, stay off the road. If you absolutely have to drive somewhere, check local road conditions before you head out and choose the safest route.
BOATS, PERSONAL WATERCRAFT AND CAMPING TRAILERS
If windstorms or torrential rain is in the forecast, make sure your recreational vehicles are in a safe place. If you live too far away from your cottage, marina or campground, make an agreement with a trustworthy person ahead of time who leaves nearby who will be able to take care of things for you.
- Make sure your boat or any other personal watercraft are out of the water or solidly anchored to the dock.
- If you have a smartphone, check your weather app for hourly forecasts or check for an alert from the Government of Canada’s Alert Ready emergency alert system. If you find yourself caught off-guard by a storm while out on a lake, get to dry land as quickly as possible and find somewhere to wait out the storm indoors.
- If you’re camping, close up your camping trailer or take down the tent and any other cloth shelter so they don’t blow away in the wind. Put away all your equipment and take shelter in your vehicle.
MOTORCYLES, SNOWMOBILES AND WEATHER: NOT ALWAYS THE BEST COMBINATION
Motorcycles and snowmobiles are both great ways to explore the countryside. However, they also require extreme caution:
- In the event of a winter storm, make sure the snow and ice can’t wreak havoc your snowmobile. If you don’t have an indoor space, put a cover on it and make sure it’s firmly attached. The same goes for your motorcycle in summertime whenever there’s high winds.
- Before you head out the door to go snowmobiling, get the most up-to-date weather forecast. In winter, the weather can drastically change without much warning.
- While on your motorcycle or snowmobile, always keep an eye out for safe places where you can take refuge if needed.
- The fact of being totally at the mercy of severe weather increases the amount of risk you face. If there’s a weather alert or a possibility of storm, play it safe and cancel your outing.
TECHNOLOGY TO THE RESCUE
Whether you’re insured with us or not, you can use Radar® in the Desjardins Insurance Home-Auto app, available for free at the App Store or Google Play. You’ll get notifications about severe weather so you can prevent as much damage as possible to your home and property. Radar lets you receive alerts for up to 5 addresses.
Conditions, exclusions and limitations may apply. The terms and conditions of the coverages described are set out in the insurance policy, which always prevails.
These tips are provided for information purposes only. They are general in nature, and Desjardins Insurance cannot be held liable for them. We recommend using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, tailored advice.