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(NC)-According to a survey from Allstate Insurance Company of Canada, almost half (42 per cent) of Canadians say they are not prepared for a catastrophe, even though 86 per cent of those surveyed say they understand the importance of preparation.
 

"Even the safest Canadian communities are at risk of severe weather like heavy winds and thunderstorms that can cause power outages and water damage, especially in the spring," says Rich Zamperin, vice-president of claims at Allstate Canada. The resulting damage to a home can be devastating.
 

Zamperin says there are many ways homeowners can be proactive against severe weather. "Emergency preparedness goes beyond stocking the emergency kit. Advance preparation can help protect your family and reduce damage to your home and property," he says.
 

To help fortify your home before severe weather hits, take a look at these valuable ideas from allstate.ca:
 

• Disconnect the downspout, add a backflow valve - To help prevent wastewater from backing up into the home during a heavy rainstorm, cut the downspout 23 cm from the sewer connection, cap the sewer standpipe and connect a spout extension to run water away from the house. Also, install a backflow valve where the sewer exits the home to protect it from water backup.
 

• Backup electricity - If you live in an area prone to power outages, invest in a home generator. A back-up generator can only be connected through an approved transfer panel switch installed by an electrician. Keep an extra cell phone charged as well.
 

• Reinforce and protect the roof - Strengthen the exterior of a home by installing shingles that are rated high for wind impact and resistance. Check that HVAC units, skylights and pipes are secured tightly and won't blow off. Replace an untreated wood shake roof with fire resilient materials like metal, tile, asphalt and treated shakes.

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