Weather forecasts aside – I smell storms coming before I see them. There’s a tang in the air and a heaviness to it – that’s my first clue to look skyward and there have been more than a few looks in the last couple of weeks. Earlier this week I knew something big was coming, the cloud formation was both breathtaking as well as ominous. Flashes of lightening. Peals of thunder. And then the heavens opened up and we, as a city, got collectively drenched.
Summer storms. We don’t need to live here in Saskatchewan all that long before we will experience them.
This week brought back vivid memories of June 29, 2014. That day was one of the worst storms in recent history with 80mm of rain falling causing basements to be flooded and insurance payouts to soar. There have been other storms as well – August 1979 and of course the tornado or Regina Cyclone, as it is known, of 1912.
Let’s face it; wind and hail are a very real part of summer here in Saskatchewan. Together, these perils of wind and hail can cause millions of dollars of damage each year. But more than merely damaging property, they can also cause injury or death. The infamous Regina Cyclone claimed the lives of 28 individuals.
So what do we do? We can’t prevent storms, but we can be proactive.
- Ensure that your eavestroughs are clean and free from debris
- Ensure that your downspouts extend away from your home
- Check your roof in spring (without putting yourself at risk!) and see that all the flashing and vents are solid. Have obvious areas of concern with shingles repaired
- Ensure that your sump pump is in good working order
- Move vehicle into a covered garage if possible
- Have an emergency kit ready
When it hits –
- During a storm stay indoors, away from doors or windows and anything that may conduct electricity. If the hail starts, don’t go out to cover plants, cars, or furniture.
- If you’re caught outside look for shelter in an enclosed building or hard-topped vehicle.
- If you’re in the middle of nowhere, stay away from poles, wires, fences and trees. Find a low lying area and hunker down. Better to get wet than zapped
When there is a storm never put life and limb at risk. Do not attempt any clean up unless it is absolutely safe to do so. Give us a call at 306-757-0621 or 306-570-3279 and we can walk you through next steps
- Don’t throw things out until your insurance adjuster has had a chance to see them. If you have to, take lots of pictures and keep a detailed list of what’s been removed
- NEVER touch a downed power line! Call emergency services and step back
- If you’ve had any appliances that have been affected, have them checked by a professional before you use them again
- Keep track of your time and expenses (save those receipts!) for possible reimbursement by your insurance company.
Of course, all of this is worst case scenario. While sometimes our summer storms can be damaging, usually they are a spectacular light show that puts fireworks to shame – truly making us the “Land of the Living Skies”.
Enjoy the summer and all that it brings!