Whether it be a windstorm, tornado or hurricane, these weather events can be destructive to your home. The Good Hands team has put together this guide to help you prepare for these types of weather events and reduce the risk of damage to your property.
Before a storm
Investing a little time in preparation year-round can go a long way to helping limit the extent of damage when a windstorm strikes.
Maintenance of Trees and Shrubs
Regularly maintain the trees around your property by having them pruned and dead branches removed. This may help reduce the likelihood of them falling and damaging your vehicle or other belongings and prevent larger parts of the tree from falling during a storm. Have dead trees removed. Check with your municipal bylaws before taking action and we recommend consulting a professional as your safety is key.
Secure your vehicles
Take the opportunity to secure your vehicle(s) in your garage, secured car port or stable enclosed space. If not, try to keep vehicle away from large trees, streetlamps and power lines.
Secure Outdoor Items
If safe to do so, before a windstorm hits, walk around your property and secure or store loose items such as patio furniture, barbeques, fire pits, children’s toys, gardening, maintenance or sports equipment, waste, recycling and compost bins. Loose items can be pushed around by strong winds and be damaged or cause damage to nearby property. Proactively address weak points or broken parts of your fence as loose boards can also cause damage during a windstorm.
Maintain the Exterior of your Property
Your home’s roof, garage doors, windows and sidings are at the greatest risk of damage from a windstorm. Ensuring that they are properly maintained and in good working condition can help to reduce the likelihood of damage and even limit or prevent damage to your home’s interior as well. Regular spot checks and warranty guidelines can assist you in ensuring they are well maintained and in good working condition.
Develop an Emergency Preparedness Plan
Mapping out and going over an emergency plan with your family and those in your household is a worthwhile exercise. The plan does not need to be extensive, but it should include information on what to do in an emergency situation, safe places to take refuge within and outside of the home, escape routes, emergency contact numbers, as well as the location and use of emergency supplies and equipment.
During a storm
Act on your emergency plan as it applies to the situation and take shelter.
If you are in your home or a building, the basement or the lowest level is safest. If you don’t have access to a basement, move to a small interior room such as a closet or bathroom, or take refuge under a flight of stairs. Avoid taking cover in the corner of a room as they attract flying debris and stay away from windows and doors.
If you can’t find shelter inside a building, lie down in a ditch or ravine and use your arms to protect your head and neck.
If you are in a vehicle open the windows slightly, pull over away from power lines, tall objects, bridges and overpasses.
After a Storm
When safe to do so, inspect the exterior of your home and property for damage. If you smell gas or notice a fallen or broken power line, remove yourself from danger and contact the appropriate emergency response or professional service to manage the situation.
Document and take inventory of damaged property and contact your local insurance provider to walk you through the claims process and execute emergency repair services as needed.
Our Claims team remains ready to support you. They can be reached through the following numbers:
Toll free: 1.800.661.1577
Toll free: 1.800.561.7222
Toll free: 1.800.387.0462
Toll free: 1.800.463.2813
Disclaimer: This information has been provided for your convenience only and should not be construed as providing specific legal or insurance advice.