Over the last century, global temperatures have increased by 1.33 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. While the change may seem insignificant, with rising temperatures, the risk of severe weather grows. “As Canadians, we are no strangers to the effects of inclement weather,” says Steve Gray, a broker with Royal LePage Kelowna. “There are ways to safeguard your home and finances against the threat of turbulent weather and, in some instances, prepare against natural disasters.” Gray suggests the following tips:
1. Understand and review your home insurance policy. During incidents of overland flooding, for example, many homeowners expect that they will be covered. However, that is not the case under many policies because insurance companies often deem flooding as a ‘predictable event.’ Conversely, so called ‘Acts of God,’ such as hailstorm damage, tornados or ice storms are often covered because these are ‘unpredictable’ weather events. Therefore, it’s important to understand the details of your homeowner insurance coverage and discuss concerns and your options with your insurer.
2. Inspect your shingles, siding and foundation for any weaknesses. Examine these areas, at minimum, on a quarterly basis and identify any concerns. Weather can be unpredictable, so treat any problems promptly.
3. Plant fire-resistant trees and shrubs around the perimeter of your house. Heat waves and droughts increase the incidence of wildfires. The British Columbia Wildfire Management Branch identifies several shrubs, trees and perennials that are fire-resistant. Examples include Maple, Periwinkle and Columbine. Increase your curb appeal and take preventative fire safety measures all at once.
By knowing your region’s typical weather and identifying potential concerns, you can prepare for the unpredictable. More information can be found at www.royallepage.ca.