What to do before, during, and after a hurricane or storm event

Canada experiences a variety of wind events, from microbursts to tornadoes to hurricanes. Although scientists do not fully understand the link between storms and climate change, studies show an increase power and density.

And, with population and development increasing in vulnerable areas, storms and hurricanes pose a serious threat to Canadians, according to Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR). Although there is not much that can be done to prevent wind damage, homeowners and business owners should take steps to protect themselves and minimize damage to their property.

Canada experiences more hurricanes than any other country except the US (80 on average, per year). “Tornadoes can easily uproot trees, overturn cars, and demolish buildings with winds of over 480 km/h. They can stretch over three kilometers and travel over 100 kilometers,” according to ICLR.

Tornado “season” occurs between April and September, peaking in June and July, but tornadoes and hurricanes can occur at any time of the year, anywhere in Canada. However, they are most common in interior British Columbia, southern Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec, and western New Brunswick.

The latest report is a Northern Tornadoes Project (NTP), a partnership between Western University and ImpactWX to better identify storm events in Canada, has confirmed 100 storms across the country in the past year. NTP works closely with Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, Instant Weather, and CatIQ.

The NTP report found that 12 percent of the storm in Canada was triggered by a tornado warning from Environment Canada – and more than 70 percent hit without any tornado warning. So how can businesses prepare for violent storm events, especially if they are not warned?

“It’s wise for everyone to be prepared for these types of events, especially if you’re in an area prone to high winds and hurricanes, like southern Alberta,” says John McCreedy, Risk Services Manager, P&C Western Region, with Northbridge Insurance. .

Here are tips on how to prepare for a hurricane, what to do in the event of a hurricane, and ways to recover afterward.

Tornado preparation

“If you have policies and procedures in place and emergency plans to keep the business going, this can save you a lot of grief after an incident,” says McCreedy.

Continue with these policies and procedures with employees at least quarterly (or monthly, if you are in high-risk areas) and conduct exercise. Make sure you have an emergency contact list and all documents are kept in a safe place.

The easiest way to protect your home from a hurricane or hurricane is to stay on top of maintenance. For example, repair the shingles on your roof and repair any cracks in the siding, doors, and windows. “If you have a cracked window, when the storm comes there’s a chance the windows will shatter,” he says.

If you are in a hurricane-prone area, such as southern Alberta, there are several steps you can take to prepare for a severe storm:

  • Make sure your roof and roof are hurricane rated
  • If you have a gable roof, make sure it is properly constructed
  • Make sure that the bay vents and soffits are securely attached to the roof
  • Make sure doors are tight and secure (including garage doors).
  • Security storage facilities and storage facilities
  • If you are rebuilding or renovating, consider storm-proofing your roof

During the storm

Stay on top of weather alerts – on your phone, radio, or TV, so you know if there’s a tornado warning and if you need to take cover (you probably won’t notice the details).

“One of the easiest things you can do – and it’s free – is to close all your windows and doors. When the wind comes through the window it changes the pressure inside your house and that’s when your roof starts to lift,” says McCreedy. This includes shutting off any ventilation.

Turn off the gas and electricity if you can. He said: “If a storm knocks down a gas line and starts a fire, then the wind will take your mind off of it.”

If you have been doing regular exercises with your employees, it can help reduce the fear of actual situations. “The first thing you want to protect is your employees,” says McCreedy. Communicate freely. Make sure you have emergency equipment and people know what to do. “

After the storm

One of the first calls you should make after a tornado or hurricane is to your insurance broker, who can provide you with the following advice. Also communicate regularly with employees, customers, and government officials.

No one should enter a damaged building until it has been cleared by authorities, especially if the roof has been removed or power lines are down. “You want to make sure the place is 100 percent safe before anyone comes back,” McCreedy says. “Fire officials may need to check the area and make sure there is no air escaping from the building.”

Although you can’t prevent a hurricane or hurricane, being prepared can help slow down the recovery process. For example, having a business continuity plan in place – so employees can work from home and/or customers can order products online – can help prevent further business losses.

“Knowing what to do before, during, and after an event can benefit you,” says McCreedy. “While it won’t prevent anything serious from happening, it will help you heal and can save lives.”

Make sure you are covered

No matter how hard you try, things can still happen. And if this happens, having the right information is essential. To learn more about how insurance can help protect your business and your policy, visit our business insurance page