How to prepare for a windstorm

Did you know that 25% of homeowner claims in Canada are due to damage from windstorms? These high winds toss around loose items causing property damage that can cost between $8000-10,000.*

While you’re covered by your home insurance, it never hurts to be prepared. Here are a few tips to stay safe and avoid damage to your home before, during and after a windstorm.

What is a windstorm?

A windstorm is made up of high winds that blow at 60-65km/h or more for at least an hour and are often accompanied by rain. While these high winds can be strong enough to cause damage to trees and buildings, they’re not considered tornadoes.

What to do before a windstorm

A few year-round maintenance tips will ensure you’re well-prepared in advance of high winds:

  • Cut back any trees or shrubs touching your house or power lines.
  • Check the health of nearby trees on your property – prune dead branches and cut down dead trees that you find.
  • Check your roof for loose or missing shingles.
Tip: When you reroof, invest in weather-resistant shingles.

Check your local news broadcasts and weather stations for windstorm or high wind warnings. If there is a warning currently in effect for your area, be sure to:

  • Secure or bring in items that could be blown around in high winds, like patio umbrellas, deck chairs, toys or bicycles.
  • Park your car inside your garage or avoid parking directly under trees.
  • Have an emergency kit ready in case of power failure.
What to do during a windstorm

The most important thing during a windstorm is making sure you’re safe:

  • Take shelter inside a solid building
    • preferably a basement
    • stay away from doors and windows
  • Park your car inside your garage or avoid parking directly under trees.
    • find a ditch or depression in the ground
    • lie face down on the ground
    • avoid bridges or overpasses
  • Postpone any unnecessary travel

Keep up-to-date on the status of the windstorm by listening to weather warnings, news broadcasts or social media.

What to do after a windstorm

Hopefully, your precautions prevented any damage to your home, but if not, the good news is that most home policies cover wind or windstorm damage. Check around your home after a windstorm and call your insurance company if you find any damage.

  • Check your roof for damage
  • Check structures that may have been weakened
  • Pick up debris

Never touch downed power lines or electrical installations. Always call your local hydro company.


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