Thunderstorm ImageThunderstorms in Canada can occur throughout the year, and in the day or night. They are most likely to occur in the spring and summer months, and in the afternoon and evening.  For the most part, thunderstorms are relatively minor in scale and scope.  However, in some cases, thunderstorms can bring with them spectacular displays of lighting, damaging winds and hail.

There are several measures that individuals can take to protect their households and families from the consequences of a thunderstorm.  While each situation may be different and it is ultimately your responsibility to determine what is safe, here are some ideas of measures you may wish to undertake.

General outdoor maintenance can prevent injury and property damage.  Following are some suggestions that you may wish to follow:

  • Ensure all gardening equipment is stored inside a garage or a sturdy shed

  • Store empty garbage and recycling bins indoors

  • Secure all outdoor furniture and play structures to prevent it being blown away

Having adequate emergency supplies available for you and your family will allow for emergency responders to treat the most critical areas first.  Each family should create a supply list to match your specific needs – and here are a few ideas to help guide you:


Water—at least a 3-day supply; 4 litres per person per day
Emergency Plan

Can opener
Aid – First Aid Kit
Money (Cash)
Emergency Flashlight (plus batteries)

Edibles—at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food
Additional Items
Documents – (identification, medication list, home ownership/rental documentation, birth certificates, insurance policies, Emergency contact numbers)
Your Keys – Extra set of car keys and house keys

Other items

  • Waterproof duffle bag to store emergency supplies
  • Heating Fuel
  • Medications (7-day supply)
  • Swiss Army Knife (or comparable tool)
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • City map
  • Protective shoes, clothes, rain gear, and a hat
  • Supplies for babies and pets
  • Emergency blanket
  • Insect repellent and sunscreen
  • Camera for photos of damage


  • Check for updates: portable radio and smartphone

  • Keep a safe distance from windows, doors, and fireplaces

  • Avoid using a landline and any equipment that conducts electricity

If evacuation is necessary, it is recommended that you:

  • Ensure all your family members and pets are accounted for

  • Leave your home immediately. Be sure to take your emergency kit and other supplies and leave a clearly visible note informing people that you are safe and letting them know your location.

  • Follow instructions of local authorities.  If there are no local authorities to guide you, it is recommended that you walk towards ground with higher elevation



  • If possible, seek shelter indoors

  • Avoid areas with trees or elevated structures


In your car

  • If it is safe to do so, it is recommended that you pull to the side of the road. Avoid trees and powerlines

  • Avoid open outdoor areas for at least a half hour

  • Continue to listen for updates: portable radio and smartphone

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