Canadian entrepreneurs are used to protecting their business property from the elements — especially snowstorms. However, warm temperatures also cause extreme weather, like tornadoes. They don’t just hit the Prairies either, Ontario and Quebec see an average of 17 tornadoes per year with a few smaller ones sporadically popping up in the Atlantic Provinces and B.C.

Even if gusts don’t quite reach speeds of almost 500 km/h like they do in the most extreme tornadoes, fast winds can still extensively damage your buildings and vehicles. Here’s how to protect your business from windstorms and tornadoes.

In and on top of your building

  • Make sure your roof’s shingles (if you have them) are tightly fitted and strong enough to handle high-impact winds.
  • Seal the building to prevent wind from entering cracks and damaging your interior.
  • Check that siding and windows are tightly attached. (Flying glass might be the most dangerous thing about windstorms.)
  • Assure doors have the proper hinges and are secured with deadbolt locks (if necessary.)
  • Verify that the roof is tightly secured to the walls to keep it from blowing away.
  • Make sure any pipes or HVAC units on your roof are firmly attached.
  • Close all windows and doors when a tornado watch is issued.

Outside your building

  • Make sure any items outside your property from tools to signs can be moved indoors if needed.
  • Secure any outdoor lights — their glass makes them especially dangerous.
  • Keep your trees and bushes well-landscaped — most trees that fall due to severe weather have pre-existing conditions.
  • Park company cars in sturdy garages. If that’s not an option and you need to keep them outside, make sure they aren’t near any trees, lampposts or power lines.
  • Call all employees who are out in company cars back to your building if a windstorm is threatening.