Severe Weather Disaster Preparedness

There are many benefits to living in Ottawa: four seasons (although that is making me laugh right now, darn snow), beautiful parks and rivers, beavertails and being fairly close to the country. Another thing that came up in discussions before is that Ottawa does not have as much risk for natural disasters. We have minor earthquakes, the occasional ice storm, small tornadoes and risk of flooding in some areas. But our risk is nothing to being in Tornado Alley or the west coast where they always seems to be waiting for the next big earthquake. But regardless of where you are, natural disasters do happen, as many people in Ontario found out in December when we had that big ice storm roll through. Personally, I have felt a few minor earthquakes (including the 5.0 Ottawa one from a few years ago), been within a KM or two of a tornado and saw wild fires the last time I was in Southern California. Really, that is nothing compared to other people in parts of the country.


The ice storm that occurred in December through many people in southern Ontario for a loop. The power was knocked out for thousands, roads were treacherous and homes suffered damaged because of the weight of the ice and falling trees. Many families realized that they were not as prepared for a natural disaster as they thought they were.  Natural disasters can do everything from damage parts of your home and cars, to destroying your property or even causing death.

This week is National Flood Safety Awareness week. There have been many large floods in both Canada and the United States over the past year, one sticking to Canadians minds is the Calgary Flood where a number of homes and businesses (including the Saddledome and Calgary Zoo) were under water.

There are a number of strategies people can do in order to better prepare for disaster including:

– KNOW:  the risk of natural disasters in your area, especially if you are new. What is the risk of floods, wildfires, tornadoes? What would you do if a warning occured?

– BE PREPARED: having an emergency supply box/closet that includes bottled water, flashlights, candles, batteries and a good supply of ready to go food. Another tip is to have a family communication plan in place

– BE ACTIVE: participate fully in drills at school and work, start conversations. If you notice things that need to be changed, let someone know. I was once at a school where the protocol for a tornado warning was to go to the school gym (aka the worst place to be in a tornado since the roof usually gets ripped up, example in Hamilton in 2005)

Anyone who’s ever survived a severe weather storm or natural disaster knows that the damage to home and property can be overwhelming, emotionally and financially. Although it is impossible to know exactly when a disaster will strike, State Farm® wants you to be prepared and quickly recover from the unexpected. Your ability to weather the storm may depend on the measures you take today. As the largest property insurer in the nation, State Farm has been helping families manage the risks of everyday life since 1922.

Understanding what you can do now before a storm or disaster strikes will make your recovery easier and hopefully less stressful.

What natural disasters have you experienced?

Do you have emergency plans in place? 

Note: I was compensated for writing this post. All opinions are my own.

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1 Comment

  1. Disaster Company

    Sometimes, weather conditions can give us a lot of trouble and because of this, you have to be ready for it. Good to know that there are emergency preparedness sites like yours that can give us proper advice and tips on how to do it.


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