Are Your Prepared for Severe Weather?
From tornadoes to floods and ice storms, Canadians continue to witness an increase in weather severity and frequency. The results are often devastating and costly. Allstate wants you to be prepared in the event of severe weather in order to protect yourself, your loved ones and your possessions. Here’s how you can be prepared:
- Check with your agent to ensure you have the right insurance coverage for your home and your possessions.
- Listen to the local news for severe weather warnings. Have a battery-powered or hand-cranked radio to use in case of a power outage.
- Stock up on extra non-perishable food and keep a supply of extra drinking water (enough to last at least 72 hours).
- Prepare an emergency kit with working flashlights, extra batteries, cash, medical supplies and important documents.
- Keep window frames and outside doors well maintained and properly insulated to prevent cold air and water from leaking in. Close all windows before a storm hits.
- Speak to a licensed plumber to conduct a detailed plumbing investigation to evaluate the risk of flooding. Ask if you have a mainline backwater valve installed in your house.
- Review your lot grading and consider back filling and swales to help keep water away from your home and foundation. Make sure your home has appropriate weeping tiles, sump-pumps or sump-pits to keep your basement dry.
- Disconnect downspouts from the municipal sewer system; extend them away from your home in a manner that does not direct water toward neighbouring properties.
- Seal cracks in foundation walls and basement floors to reduce the chance of infiltration flooding.
- Keep a home inventory record, which lists all of your personal belongings and valuables. This will help with an insurance company’s assessment.
If extreme weather is forecast
- Make sure you know where your family members are and decide on a neighbourhood meeting place.
- Have a full tank of gas and cash handy in case you need to evacuate your home.
- Bring non-secure items, like lawn furniture, inside or secure them in a safe place.
- Stay inside and keep away from windows and glass doors.
- Avoid using candles. A lit candle can be a severe fire hazard.
After the storm has passed
- Beware of lingering debris, which can cause illness or injury. After your home or basement has been deemed safe, avoid coming into contact with human waste, dirty water or electrical hazards. Wear protective clothing, like gloves and a protective mask during clean up.
- Do not turn on the power in your home after it has been affected by significant water damage. Ask your hydro company for assistance.
- If you smell gas, or observe leaking or exposed gas lines, retreat to a safe area outside the home and immediately call 911.
- Contact your municipal government about how and when you can best transport and dispose of unsalvageable furniture, beds, bedding and other items at your city’s local landfill.
- Mould and mildew can pose a potential health risk in the months and years after a flood. Clean the walls above the flood line as soon as possible and ensure drywall in flooded areas is properly replaced.
- Take extra care when hiring contractors, electricians and other trades people to work on your home. Check their references. Allstate’s Claims team can provide a list of reputable vendors for your home.