As climate change brings unpredictable and severe weather patterns to the horizon, you face an ever-increasing risk of damage to your home, business, and vehicles. Although reversing climate change will require a global effort, there are some things you can do to protect yourself from the growing threats. Your first step is taking the time to understand the impact of climate change on everyone in Canada. Then, you can create a plan to mitigate the threats and stay safe if disaster occurs. Use this guide to get started.
Increasing Threats from Climate Change
As the average global temperature rises, weather events will become much more severe and fail to follow predictable patterns. In addition, the higher temperatures melt away the glaciers, potentially increasing the sea level by 70 metres.
The risk of flooding will greatly increase as a result of these changes, but it does not end there. Other risks of climate change in Canada include more wildfires, windstorms, and other disastrous events.
Although it is likely to get worse in the future, the changes have already started in earnest. The floods in Ontario and Alberta resulted in an unprecedented $3.2 billion in claims due to the severe damage to homes and businesses. As this occurs, it is likely to see insurance premium hikes, policy term updates, and the need for additional coverage. Thankfully, you do not need to wait for the situation to get worse to start making adjustments that will protect you from the risks.
Ways to Decrease Your Potential Losses
Despite the unpredictability of the climate change effects, creating and following a plan will go a long way in decreasing your potential losses. Just take the following steps to prepare for whatever comes your way and stay ahead of the changes the best you can.
Review Your Coverage Levels
Your insurance company always stands by your side in the face of disaster but only if you have the right coverage levels. Your policy needs to cover the situation in question and at the right amount to fully mitigate your losses.
When you speak with your broker, they can help assess the risks and suggest policies that will serve your needs. They can even help you go beyond standard policies to protect all your assets, including collector cars and motorhomes.
Perform Key Improvements
To protect homes, businesses, and vehicles from damage caused by climate change, there are many different property improvements available. If flooding is on your radar, for example, then consider installing a sump pump to divert accumulating water away from the structure. This will keep the moisture from puddling up and damaging building materials, helping minimize losses quite a bit. You might also want to install a leak detector at low spots in your property to alert you to any problems the second they occur.
For areas prone to wildfires, on the other hand, turn your attention to the outside of your home or business. Remove debris, cut back low-hanging tree branches, and upgrade to non-combustible exterior building materials, such as fibre cement. You can also install smoke detectors, replace your fire extinguishers, and install rain barrels for an extra layer of protection.
Heed All Warnings
When adverse weather conditions are on their way, public alerts go out across all the major news stations and beyond. Upon hearing these alerts, it is a wise choice to heed the warnings and take the right steps to protect your home, business, and vehicles.
If windstorms are on their way, you might want to bring in outdoor furniture and put vehicles in the garage. When wildfire alerts go out, you may need to just lock up and evacuate along the suggested routes to stay safe.
Follow Your Disaster Plan
For every adverse weather event that could occur, you need to create a disaster plan and have supplies on hand.
Your plan should address:
- Where you store the non-perishable food and water
- How to evacuate the building
- The household meeting spot
- Which vehicle to take when evacuating
- What evacuation routes to follow
Go over the plan often with other members of your household and keep several copies in different areas. You might even want to load up your RV with disaster supplies and keep it ready for evacuations in case an order is issued. With that move, you can even head out there during power outages to stay comfortable while waiting for everything to turn back on.
Although preparing for the effects of climate change might feel overwhelming, you do not need to head into the process alone. You can turn toward us for the support you need. Simply give us a call to assess your risks and discuss your coverage levels.