Fran Ferguson said she doesn’t usually take severe weather warnings seriously, but something — either a sensation or the direction the wind was blowing on Thursday, July 15 made this one different. When the Barrie, Ont., resident received an alarm on her phone, she began to prepare her cellar, putting her handbag, vital medicine, and a dog bed down where she knew they’d be safe.
It’s an all-too-familiar narrative that’s been told all throughout Canada this summer. Except for the United States, the country registers more tornadoes per year than any other in the globe, with approximately 60 per year on average however meteorologists believe there are more that go unreported.
Despite this, the National Building Code of Canada places minimal emphasis on measures to safeguard against uplift — the sorts of winds produced by tornadoes. While it is difficult to say whether climate change is to blame for an increase in tornadoes in Canada, our growing population has resulted in a larger human footprint, which means more buildings where there were once forests or farmland, and more opportunities for tornadoes to cause damage to human structures.
Kopp has been lobbying for hurricane straps to be mandated in Canadian construction regulations for many years. The little metal brackets, also known as hurricane clips, can assist prevent a roof from falling off by anchoring each truss to the top of a wall. Hurricane straps are effective up to EF-2 wind loads, and the great majority of tornadoes in North America are EF-2 or smaller, according to Kopp.
Ferguson said she would think about it if she ever constructed a new house. She escaped the storm uninjured, and when she walked outside to inspect her home, she claimed it didn’t appear to be too severely damaged, save for one hole in the roof that needed to be patched.
Her three-year-old roof needed to be fully rebuilt because the tar paper a weatherproofing layer between the plywood and the shingles had been pushed up by the winds and the roof had split in parts. As a result, altering construction standards may be a smart idea, according to Ferguson.