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Preparing for a Busy Hurricane Season

Hurricane Season
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According to Colorado State University (CSU) hurricane researchers, all signs point to a busy tropical storm and hurricane season with 20 named storms and a higher risk of impact for eastern Canada than usual.

“Currently, we estimate a 74% probability of a named storm impact and a 47% forecast probability of a hurricane impact,” said Phil Klotzbach, a senior research scientist in the Department of Atmospheric Science and lead author of CSU’s seasonal hurricane forecasts.

In an interview with Canadian Underwriter, Jim Mandeville, Senior Vice President, Large Loss, First Onsite Property Restoration said, “Historically, hurricanes are less known to hit Canadian cities with the intensity that’s experienced in the United States, but even tropical storms can still substantially impact Canadian communities, businesses, and homes, especially on the east coast.”

Hurricane Season in Canada

The hurricane season in Canada lasts from June to November, with activity peaking in September. When powerful storms make landfall in Canada, they are frequently no longer classified as hurricanes but remain extremely powerful. Because these storms can only be predicted a few days before they make landfall, preparation is essential.

Like any emergency, being prepared is the best way to reduce the risk of property damage. If you live along the Atlantic coast or immediately inland, the time to begin preparing is before peak hurricane season.

According to a 2022 survey by Angus Reid Global on behalf of First Onsite, 61% of Atlantic Canadians feared the damage caused by hurricanes and tropical storms, compared to 37% in Quebec, 35% in Ontario, and 29% in British Columbia.

“Storms aren’t behaving like they used to, and disaster plans are usually based on what has happened in the past,” Mandeville said. “Disaster plans must be thoroughly-planned and practised on a regular basis.”

Water damage and property loss are just two of the devastating consequences that hurricanes can cause. Mother Nature has a way of reminding us who is in charge at times. While you can’t predict when or where a hurricane will strike, being prepared is the best way to minimize potential damage.

Severe weather events in Canada caused insured losses of $2.1 billion (US$1.68 billion) last year, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC). This makes 2021 the sixth costliest year since 1983.

“In today’s world of extreme weather events, the new normal for yearly insured catastrophic losses in Canada has become $2 billion, most of it due to water-related damage,” Craig Stewart, vice president of federal affairs for the IBC, said in a statement.

Canada’s climate is warming two times faster than the global average, according to a 2019 report. The rapidly changing climate is also increasing the frequency, intensity, and duration of extreme weather events like heatwaves, wildfires, and floods. This trend is expected to continue for several decades, even if emissions are reduced globally.

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