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Do You Live In Canada’s Tornado Alley?

With Danielle Tkachyk, of Savante Insurance Inc

You may not realize that Canada is second only to the U.S. in experiencing the highest number of tornadoes in the world.

Follow this checklist to protect your home.
• Roofs: If re-roofing, ask your contractor about appropriate wind-rated shingles. If deferring improvements, ensure ridge vents are strong enough to resist high winds and wind-driven rain. If you have a gable roof, ensure that it is properly braced.
• Roof vents and soffits: Like your shingles, roof vents and soffits should be rated for both high winds and wind-driven rain (if they are not, it will be best to shutter those windows before a storm). From time to time, ensure all vents and soffits are also tightly connected to your roof. Then check the condition of soffit covers and replace anything that is corroded or damaged.
• Porches including carports and patio covers: Porches and overhangs are easy targets for structural damage during a windstorm. Make sure supporting posts are securely connected to the foundation and overhang.
• Doors: Ideally, your doors should be pressure and impact rated. Reinforce double doors with a heavy-duty deadbolt and slide bolts at the top and bottom of the doors.
• Windows: Protect your windows (as well as glass doors) from airborne debris — anything from tree branches to signposts, roof shingles and metal siding — by installing storm shutters.
• Garage doors: If possible, install a garage door that is pressure and impact rated. You can also strengthen garage doors by installing vertical braces and horizontal bracing in the panels. These should be available at your local home improvement store.
• Landscape: Trim trees and shrubs around your home and remove any debris from the yard. If you commonly face strong winds, you may also want to replace gravel or rock landscaping with shredded bark, which is less destructive when blown around.
• Outdoor objects: Make sure items such as storage sheds, lawn furniture and garbage cans are secure. Do not forget about equipment such as air conditioners, generators and even patio umbrellas, which can turn into dangerous and sharp flying objects.

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