Last month was National Preparedness Month for our friends in the U.S. While we can hope that we won’t get caught up in weather-related disasters, it’s much better to be ready than caught off-guard. And with unprecedented weather happening across Canada this year, there’s no better time to prepare for circumstances that we hope will never occur. But with different weather comes different preparation needs.

Flooding

Is your area prone to flooding due to heavy rain? Take time to learn about flooding-related weather that can affect your area. Then, sign up for Public Weather Alerts.

If a watch or warning is issued for your area, fall back on your emergency preparedness plan. Discuss next steps with every member of your family. Make sure that your car has plenty of gas in the event you want to evacuate to higher ground. And keep an emergency kit in your car with food, water, and clothes in the event you decide to make a quick exit. Heed warnings from officials by listening to the television or radio and paying attention to sirens or other warning signals. If you choose to stay in your home during flooding, make sure that you remain in the upper levels of your home. Also, store as much clean drinking water as possible in case emergency crews can’t reach your area for several days.

Be sure to speak with your insurance agency bi-annually to discuss your policy if you’re in a flood-prone area. Riders related to flooding may be necessary to help protect your property.

Wildfires

Drier seasons are more prone to wildfires, but any home or business near prairies, brush, or heavily wooded areas could be affected by a wildfire. And most aren’t caused by bad weather—they’re caused by human error.

It’s important to sign up for Public Weather Alerts and pay close attention to authorities. In the event of a wildfire, it’s important to have multiple evacuation routes as some roads could become blocked. And keep emergency supplies in your car, especially during more wildfire-prone times of the year. Identify family, friends, or shelters that would be able to accommodate your family and drive slowly in areas of reduced visibility.

Contact your insurer to discuss your wildfire policy if you live in an area prone to them. Many policies cover homes in the event of a fire, but your policy could have limitations related to wildfires.

Tornadoes

Unlike some other types of severe weather, tornadoes can strike without warning. They tend to occur in higher volume over the spring and summer. And recently, multiple tornado watches have occurred due to the unusual hurricane activity seen along the Atlantic coast. But it’s still possible to prepare for tornadoes, even when they’re unpredictable. It starts when you sign up for warnings.

There are several ways to prepare for tornadoes. First, find a room or shelter space in or near your home or business with no windows. This could be a stairwell, a bathroom, or a basement. Store a weather radio there along with extra batteries. Keep supplies including bottled water and canned non-perishable goods, on hand in the event you’ll need to leave your area after the storm has passed. In the event you’re away from your home or office when a tornado occurs, get into the nearest building. Never try to outrun or follow a tornado in your vehicle as they can quickly change paths.

If you live in a tornado-prone area, be sure that your insurance policy covers you. An insurance agent should be able to talk to you about what your policy covers and what could require a rider.

Different types of severe weather require different types of preparedness. Making the effort to prepare ahead of time will often help save you headaches later. And Paul Davis franchise professionals are available 24/7 to clean up and repair damage to residential and commercial property so disasters can be quickly and professionally restored.