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Don’t let the Act of Nature Ruin Your Summer

LDW5MKxFor many Torontonians it’s hard to forget the major flood just a year ago. Because of a summer flash storm torrents of water got dumped onto streets, into low-lying areas and unfortunately filled basements. A year to the day, a less dramatic but similar storm brought about flooding once more. As one person said in frustration, “Our contractor had just finished the final touches on our new basement that had to rebuilt after last summer’s storm and bang, this year’s storm flooded the space once again.”

Summer weather can be cruel, with damaging floods and lightning strikes. Although such “acts of nature” are usually unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to minimize damage to yourself and your home.

flooded-booksBasement Flood Protection
Things you can do yourself:

  • Check to make sure that rain water in gardens and patios flows away from your house.
  • Seal cracks in walls, windows and foundations, and seal all window wells.
  • To avoid clogging the storm sewers, disconnect your downspouts from the sewer system as per the City of Toronto bylaw. Make sure your eaves are free of leaves and debris and are draining properly.

High flood risk homes, get professional help:

  • Wet basement – waterproof your foundation and repair/replace damaged weeping tiles.
  • Check with a licensed contractor to see if need a backwater valve. City grants may be available.

See a complete list for both inside and outside precautions online at toronto.ca/water.

Avoid Lightning Strikes
Thunder storms and lightning can be stunning and beautiful to look at, but they are also very dangerous. Luckily, with a little know how getting struck by lightning can be prevented for both adults and children. First thing to know, there is NO safe place outside during a thunderstorm. If you can hear thunder, you are within striking distance, immediately go to the nearest lightning proof shelter.

  • Well-constructed building usually grounded with lighting rods or other electrical devices. Avoid small structures which often attract lightning.
  • Don’t take shelter under a tree. Stay away from things that are tall (flagpoles or posts), objects that conduct electricity (tractors, metal fences, lawn mowers, golf clubs) and water.
  • If in an open field, get into a fully enclosed, metal-topped vehicle.
  • If you get caught in a level field far from shelter, crouch down on the balls of your feet immediately, with feet together, place your arms around your knees and bend forward. Be the smallest target possible, and at the same time, minimize your contact with the ground. Don’t lie flat.