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A severe thunderstorm, combined with rising temperatures and strong winds is expected to hit Southern Ontario Thursday and Friday this week. With the rain and rapid melting of snow, we could see moisture intrusion, water damage and even localized flooding. Here are a few tips to help protect you andyour home:

Now:

• Remove snow from basement stairwells, window wells and around walls.
• Uncover and clear a path to storm drains on the street.
• If safe, clear eavestroughs and downspouts of leaves and debris.
• Ensure downspouts drain properly – ideally six feet away from the home.
• Check walls, floors, windows and foundations for cracks or leaks and make   any necessary repairs immediately.
• If your home has a history of water intrusion, or it looks like water may possibly enter your home this time, shut off the electricity and outside gas valve immediately.

Flooded House

If flooding occurs:

• Go to upper floors and keep out of any standing water. Hazards from floating debris, sewer contamination, live electrical wires and slippery footing can make wading in flood waters extremely dangerous.
• Listen for the latest emergency information. If told to leave your area, grab your emergency preparedness kit and go to your designated shelter. Be sure to follow the recommended evacuation routes.
• Never go near or touch fallen power lines or downed trees that may have power lines tangled in them. Stay at least ten metres away and call your local energy utility to alert them to damage.
• If you are outdoors, climb to high ground in a highly visible and safe area. Never cross floodwaters as water as shallow as 15 centimetres could sweep you offyour feet.
• If while in your vehicle you come to a flooded area, turn around, head for elevated ground and park there. Avoid remaining in your vehicle as little as 60 centimetres of water can carry away a car.

After Damage:

• Keep the power off and ask your hydro company for assistance.
• If possible, record details of any damage before you clean up. Take photos or video to help with your insurance company’s assessment.
• Once you’ve assessed damage as best you can, contact your insurance company.

* Article Courtesy of Allstate Insurance *

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