How Vulnerable is Your Home to Severe Winds?

2/24/2015 1:14:00 PM

building reconstruction due to wind damage

Did you know that 41 recorded disasters have been related to severe wind in Ontario since 1900? Quebec lists 34, Alberta 33, Nova Scotia 24, and the list goes on. Many of these events claimed numerous lives, caused a staggering number of injuries, forced thousands to evacuate, and cost millions (billions) in restoration.

These events are unfortunate, but you can be prepared.

While we can’t control the weather, we can control how we prepare. Taking certain steps and precautions ahead of time can lessen the impact and damage suffered when wild weather strikes.

So, how vulnerable is your home to severe winds? Consider the following questions.

  • Has a home inspector investigated your property recently for risks of damage due to wind and wind driven water?
  • Have you upgraded your roofing or inspected it to assess its capability to withstand extreme wind?
  • Do you have storm shutters for your windows and glass doors?
  • Do you have reinforced ‘storm-proof’ garage doors?

If you answered “no” to any of the questions above, start by taking the necessary measures to minimize the risks to your home. If you answered “yes,” find a more extensive list of precautions by taking the CBC’s home assessment questionnaire. The site provides videos with each question specifying what actions to take and how they prove beneficial to your property.

Now that you’ve properly secured your home, here are some tips to remember when strong winds arrive.

  • Have a plan! Equip your family by creating a disaster preparedness plan. Make sure to include a survival kit and an emergency evacuation route.
  • Stay away from windows.
  • Seek shelter. Preferably in a basement, otherwise go to the smallest, interior room or hall on the lowest floor.
  • If the forecast calls for high winds, bring inside loose objects. This ensures that they don’t become projectiles that could harm people or property, as well as ensure that the objects themselves aren’t damaged
  • Secure large outdoor objects. Some items are simply too big to store inside (tables, chairs, play structures, etc). Make sure they are properly secured with weights, ropes, chains, etc.

Weather happens. It’s part of nature, but that doesn’t mean it has to catch you unprepared.