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Hurricanes are violent tropical storms which blow up from the Caribbean. They occasionally hit eastern Canada, usually between June and November – September is the peak month. Both the east and west coasts get fall and winter storms which have hurricane-force winds. Hurricanes cause more widespread damage than tornadoes because they are bigger. Some hurricanes are as large as 1,000 kilometres across.

During a hurricane

If a hurricane warning has been issued and you live on the coast or in a low-lying area near the coast, you are advised to move inland and to higher ground. The high winds create huge waves at sea which, when they reach the shore, may become tidal waves or storm surges.

Do not go down to the water to watch the storm. Most people who are killed during hurricanes are caught in large waves, storm surges or flood waters.

As a rule, hurricanes move slowly and batter communities for several hours. If the eye of the hurricane passes over, there will be a lull in the wind lasting from two or three minutes to half an hour. Stay in a safe place. Make emergency repairs only and remember that once the eye has passed over, the winds will return from the opposite direction with possibly even greater force.

Mobile homes

Owners and residents of mobile homes must take special care to protect themselves and their property in the event of storms. Position your trailer near a natural windbreak such as a hill or clump of trees. As severe storms usually come in from the southwest, west or northwest, the narrow end of the home should face in a westerly direction to make a smaller target.

Make sure your mobile home is anchored securely. Consult the manufacturer for information on secure tie-down systems.

During a hurricane, mobile homes are the exception to the stay-indoors rule.