This article is courtesy of our partner The Personal.
Imagine Environment Canada just issued a windstorm warning for your area. Is your home in harm’s way? To help you get prepared for the next storm, we’ve put together a list of steps you can take to prevent wind damage to your home.
Six steps to help prevent wind damage
Step 1: Fix what’s broken
Maintain your home and fix things like loose fence boards or peeling roof shingles to prevent even further, more costly damage in the event of a windstorm. The cost of repairs is sure to be less expensive than fixing damage after the storm.
If you have too little time before a storm, check if anything needs repairing and try to do a few temporary fixes to prevent damaged parts breaking off and flying around.
Step 2: Secure outdoor items
Loose items like patio furniture, BBQs, garbage/recycling/compost bins and sports equipment can become dangerous missiles in a wind gust.
Before a storm, walk around your property—bring items inside or tie them down so they won’t blow around. Park your car away from trees, streetlamps and power lines. If possible, park in a garage. And don’t forget to bring your pets indoors.
Step 3: Examine trees and shrubs
High winds and loose branches are a bad combination. Keep trees and shrubs in good condition and cut down dead trees before they do any damage (check your municipal bylaws before you do this). If you are not comfortable cutting branches yourself, hire a professional.
Before a storm, trim any damaged branches. But be careful—if the branches are touching any hydro cables, you could get an electric shock.
Step 4: Identify vulnerable entry points
Homes have four weak spots: the roof, windows, doors, and garage. If they’re in poor condition, they can get seriously damaged in a windstorm. Roofs are particularly vulnerable in high winds. Check your home’s weak spots regularly and get any repairs done promptly.
Before a storm, make sure all doors and windows are closed and locked securely.
Step 5: Prepare an emergency plan
Choose a safe place in your home or office. Make sure there’s an emergency kit with a flashlight (and extra batteries!), a first aid kit, blankets, food supplies and water.
Step 6: Take shelter!
If you’re at home, take refuge in the basement or go to a small interior room in the centre of the house. Don’t stand near doors or windows.
If you’re outside in an open area with no shelter nearby, take cover in a ditch or hollow. Lay face down on the ground and protect your head with your hands.
If you’re in your car, open the windows slightly and park off the road away from tall objects and power lines with your parking brake set.
After a windstorm
Take some time to inspect your house and property for debris and damage. If your building smells of gas, stay outside. You should also keep away from downed power lines and contact your local power company to come and have a look.
Let your insurance provider know if wind has damaged your home so they can walk you through the claims process, and don’t forget to make an inventory of your damaged property.
By following these simple steps, you can help reduce or avoid high wind damages to your house.
Be ready next time
There are some great tools on the market that can warn you of severe weather. Check out RadarTM. It’s an alert service that notifies you if a storm is headed your way—and it’s available free on The Personal mobile app.
To find out more, call 1-888-476-8737 or visit thepersonal.com/ospe-proengineer.
This article is being provided by OSPE on behalf of The Personal which has a group sponsorship agreement with regards to home and auto insurance for our members.
The Personal refers to The Personal General Insurance Inc. in Quebec and The Personal Insurance Company in all other provinces and territories of Canada.
The information and advice in this article are provided for informational purposes only. The Personal shall not be liable for any damages or losses arising from any reliance upon such information or advice. The Personal recommends using caution and consulting with experts with respect to the proper use, installation and storage of any products referred to herein.