High winds can have devastating impacts on our natural and built environments while jeopardizing individual health and safety. Environment Canada issues a wind warning when wind speeds reach 60 to 70 km/hour or wind is gusting at 90 km/hour or more. Environment Canada warns that winds over 70 km/hour will:
- Cause difficulty balancing and walking against the wind
- Turn any loose item into a dangerous projectile — flying glass and debris pose the greatest danger to human safety
- Make steering your vehicle difficult
- Cause damage to trees, breaking limbs and branches
Know what to do in case of a power outage. Visit our Power Outage page for more information.
- Remove dead or rotting branches and trees from your property.
- Develop an emergency plan so every member of your household knows what to do in the event of severe weather. Make sure you have an emergency kit ready for your home and vehicle.
- Stay informed – be aware of extreme weather conditions. Check the Government of Canada’s Weather Office - Public Alerts website.
- If high winds is forecast, secure everything that might be blown around or torn loose, indoors and outdoors. Flying objects such as garbage cans and lawn furniture can injure people and damage property.
- Always check the marine forecast before leaving for a day of boating and listen to weather reports during your cruise. Visit the Safe Boating page for information on how to stay safe while out on the water.
- If indoors, stay away from windows, doors and fireplaces. If required, go to the sheltered area identified in your emergency plan. Don’t use a landline telephone.
- If in a car, stop and park away from trees or power lines that could fall on you. Unless shelter is close by, stay in your car.
- If on the water and you see bad weather approaching, head for shore immediately.
- If on a farm, secure your home, and move animals to shelter with access to food and water.
- If required, go to the sheltered area identified in your emergency plan.
- Never touch power lines. A hanging power line could be charged and will put you at risk for electrocution.
During a high winds, you may also experience:
Inspect your home
Make sure that your home is structurally safe. Look for buckled walls or floors, holes in the floor, broken glass and other potentially dangerous debris. If there is damage to your home, vehicle or other property as a result of severe weather, check with your insurance provider to determine your coverage.
Prepare for the next time
Refill your emergency kit and update your household emergency plan, if needed.
Visit the Emergency Management Ontario website, the Federal Government's Get Prepared website, and the Halton Region website.
Visit the Climate Change Adaptation Initiative page to review the Town of Oakville Climate Change Primer.
Visit the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction's YouTube channel for videos on preventing basement flooding.