Hurricane Leslie has hit Atlantic Canada causing extensive flooding and evacuations around the region. In hurricane season � and year round � RSA takes all necessary precautions to ensure we are here for our broker partners and their customers. The following are some emergency preparedness tips and information to assist you and your customers in the event of a flood or hurricane.
Before a hurricane
- Be sure to trim back dead or weak branches from trees located near your home, outbuildings, parked or stored vehicles, and power lines.
- Store all outdoor objects such as patio and lawn furniture, BBQs, toys, and garden tools; and anchor objects that cannot be brought inside.
- Compile an emergency preparedness kit, and store it in an easily accessible area of your home. Include battery-powered or wind-up flashlights and radios, extra batteries, bottled water, and non-perishable food.
- Keep in mind most cordless phones will not work in a power outage. Ensure you have a telephone that does not require electricity to function.
- Fill the gas tank of your car in case of emergencies.
- If your home is located in a low-lying area near the coast, move inland and to a higher elevation if possible.
- If you have a sump pump, make sure it is in the proper working order as ground water always increases during storms.
- Ensure you have a sufficient supply of charcoal or propane for your BBQ so that you are able to cook and heat food for meals. Remember never to operate your BBQ from inside your home or garage.
During a hurricane
- Stay indoors, unless directed otherwise by the appropriate authorities.
- Stay informed � listen to your local radio or television station for storm updates.
- Avoid using your land line as it is not safe. Use your cellular phone to keep in contact with friends, family or neighbours. Limit phone calls to ensure your battery life will last the duration of the storm.
Click here to listen to more general hurricane tips.
Click here to listen to hurricane evacuation tips.
Protecting Yourself, Your Home and Business During a Flood
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It�s most important that you protect yourself, your family and employees first:
- If you are indoors, move to the upper level of your home or building, and bring a battery operated radio and flashlights.
- Turn off electricity and outside gas valve.
- If you are outdoors, move to higher ground and avoid flood waters – even 15 cm of fast moving water can sweep you off your feet.
- Don�t stay in your car � according to the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR), as little as 60 cm of water can carry a car away. If it is not safe to leave your car, park at the most elevated point.
What to do if your home or business has been flooded
- Do NOT touch electrical wires, appliances or devices.
- Separate damaged property from undamaged property, and prepare an inventory of what has been lost or damaged.
- Take photographs of damaged property. If covered, RSA will reimburse you for the cost of the photos.
In the aftermath of extensive flooding, RSA has some information that may help keep you safe and help you mitigate damage. Your independent insurance broker will be able to provide you with additional information to help you file a claim.
Protecting your home and business in the future
- Raise any personal belongings that you have stored in the basement off the floor to prevent water damage.
- Through a licensed electrician and in accordance with the local building code, raise the main circuit breaker or fuse box 2 metres above flood level in your area.
- Install backflow valves or backflow prevention device to prevent sewer backups (check with local building codes for further information).
- Install a sump pump if floor is below ground level and check to make sure sump pump is operable. A backup sump pump would be beneficial.
- Disconnect eaves trough downspouts if connected to weeping tile system.
- Ensure proper drainage around your home � consider adding top soil with a minimum 5� slope away from your home or installing a sump pump or backflow valve.