Ontario ice storm leaves thousands without power and facing damages

TORONTO, Dec. 22, 2013 /CNW/ - A winter storm passed across Ontario overnight and in its path left up to 350,000 people without power, downed trees and power lines and icy roads.  

"When it is safe to do so, it is important to assess and document any potential damages you need to report to your insurance representative," said Ralph Palumbo, Vice-President, Ontario, Insurance Bureau of Canada.  "If you have to go out in the storm be sure to watch for downed power lines.  Report any downed lines to your hydro company."

Some tips for outside your home: 

  • Keep your sidewalk and the front stairs of your house clear of snow and ice to prevent falls and injuries.
  • Keep snow and ice clear of gas meters, gas appliance vents, exhaust vents and basement windows.
  • Water frozen in pipes can cause your pipes to break at their weakest point. To prevent freezing, fit exposed pipes with insulation sleeves or wrapping.
  • Trim and remove tree branches that hang close to the house or electrical wires.
  • If you need to drive, make sure all snow and ice is cleared from your vehicle.

If you have power outages in your home, Palumbo reminds you not to leave candles or battery powered heaters unattended and always keep children, pets and combustible objects at least 3 feet away from them.  "Never use a stove or oven to heat your house. These devices are not designed to heat the room or home. The misuse could potentially cause injury through fire or carbon monoxide."   He added, "Also in a power outage inside your home either keep a tap running or turn the taps off and drain pipes to keep from freezing."

Consumers who have general insurance questions can contact IBC's Ontario's Consumer Information Centre at 1-800-387-2880.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, car and business insurers. Its member companies represent 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. The P&C insurance industry employs over 118,600 Canadians, pays more than $7 billion in taxes to the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and has a total premium base of $46 billion.

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SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

For further information:

Steve Kee
Director, Media Relations 
Insurance Bureau of Canada
416-362-2031 X-4387
416-841-5669
skee@ibc.ca