Windstorms are observed frequently in Québec. These are winds that:

  • Blow at 60 km/h or more for at least one hour
  • Gust at 90 km/h or more

They may be associated with low-pressure systems or local meteorological events.

Take precautions

Cut and gather dead tree branches and cut down dead trees on your lot. Be sure to comply with municipal by-laws.

Find out about weather warnings in effect in your region or in the area where you are planning to travel. Take such warnings into account when you plan your activities.

Prepare yourself when a windstorm is forecast

When the meteorological service forecasts a windstorm, fasten anything that can be blown away outside your home to prevent dangerous situations and injuries.

Postpone all unnecessary travel. If you absolutely have to travel, visit the Québec 511 Info Transports website or call 511 to check road conditions.

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Take precautions during extreme windstorms

Follow these tips in the event of extreme windstorms or exceptional meteorological events, such as tornadoes:

If you can shelter in a building:

  • Take refuge in your house, preferably in the basement.
  • Take refuge in a solid building that can withstand strong winds.
  • Stay far away from doors and windows and keep your back to them.
  • Do not use the elevator in a building.

Evacuate in a timely manner your mobile home or any other shelter that the wind could sweep away. Also evacuate your home if you receive evacuation instructions from the authorities.

If you cannot take shelter in a building:

  • Take refuge in a ditch or other depression in the ground, lie face down on the ground and protect your head with your hands.
  • Avoid taking shelter under a bridge, viaduct or overpass, since winds are more intense there.

Moreover, follow prevention tips and safety rules if windstorms cause power failures, in the event of severe thunderstorm or in case of winter storms.

Do as instructed by authorities

When the situation demands it, the authorities disseminate instructions to seek shelter or to evacuate, depending on the hazard. To ensure your safety and that of your family, follow the instructions. Listen to the media in your area to obtain a status report and find out about the procedures to be followed.

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After a windstorm, make your environment safe

Make sure that your home is safe after a windstorm. Inspect the premises for damage.

  • Check the roof.
  • Check structures that might have been weakened, such as the shed.
  • Pick up debris scattered by the wind.
  • Never touch downed power lines or electrical equipment. Call 911 immediately if you notice a downed power line. Always assume that the lines are live and keep a minimum distance of 10 meters.

If windstorms have damaged your home, you must inform:

  • Your insurer, to have the damage recorded
  • The financial institution that granted you a mortgage loan, to declare the damage

Increase the security of your home to keep away looters and inquisitive individuals if extensive work must be carried out before you can return to your home. Be sure to:

  • Barricade the windows
  • Lock the doors
  • Cover damaged areas

Know what to do after a disaster

Consult the After a disaster section to learn instructions and recommendations for getting back to normal in a safe manner.

Other useful links

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