Winter storm brings snow, rain, wind & cold to Eastern, Central Canada

A powerful winter storm that brought heavy rain and snow to much of Eastern and Central Canada has closed schools, flooded streets, knocked out power and is forcing school buses to stay off the roads in Toronto today as temperatures plummet.

Weather warnings remained in place in much of the region, cautioning that Sunday’s nasty storm system could deliver a one-two punch as plunging temperatures cause slush, pooling water and any precipitation to flash freeze.

Schools in much of New Brunswick were closed today, and some offices and universities were delaying their openings following rains that left some streets in areas like Saint John submerged under ice-clogged waters.

Several Toronto school boards, including the Toronto District School Board and the Toronto Catholic District School Board, decided to cancel bus service out of concerns that frigid temperatures could delay travel and put students at risk as they wait for pickup.

NB Power reported about 3,000 customers were without electricity, while Nova Scotia Power said about 34 outages were affecting just over 1,100 customers.

Environment Canada was forecasting flurries and ice pellets or freezing rain in New Brunswick this morning changing to snow in the afternoon with winds gusting to 40 km/h, and wind chill temperatures as low as minus 50 Celsius.

Wind and rainfall warnings have been posted in central Nova Scotia, while in Prince Edward Island a flash freeze warning has been issued with rain showers expected to change to flurries early in the afternoon.

Newfoundland is dealing with wind and rainfall warnings, with 20 millimetres of precipitation forecast for the south coast, along with 50 km/h winds gusting to 80 and even 100 km/h in some areas.

In Quebec and Ontario the snow has largely stopped falling, but extreme cold warnings remain in place with wind chills expected to drop to almost minus 40 in Toronto.

Montreal and Ottawa are looking at daytime highs of just minus 15 to 17 with icy wind chills as low as minus 40 where exposed skin can suffer frostbite in just minutes.

Sunday’s snow storm caused some flight cancellations at airports across the affected regions, and in Montreal they even cancelled a festival dedicated to snow.

The city said it was suspending the Fete des Neiges due to the snowy, windy and cold weather as well as the dangerous conditions on Quebec’s roads.

IMGlobal: Insurance Coverage for the 2018 Hurricane Season

As seen during the fall of 2017, hurricane season can bring tremendous loss to all citizens and residents of affected areas as well as to tourists and travelers.

On September 13, 2018, Hurricane Florence reached land as a Category 2 hurricane; however, the size of the storm was one of the largest in history. The storm brought damaging winds of up to 85 mph and several feet of storm surge.

As the Carolinas continue to deal with the after-effects of Hurricane Florence, several other tropical storms have already been named and are being monitored closely by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). A complete list can be found at https://www.weather.gov/.

Earlier this year, the NOAA released the following estimates for the following 2018 hurricane season:

  • 10-16 tropical systems
  • 5-9 systems becoming hurricanes
  • 1-4 hurricanes being category 3 or higher

For assistance in determining if you should purchase travel insurance during hurricane system, you can get more information here: 2018 Hurricane Season.

* Other benefits may also be available depending on the type of coverage purchased and the specific circumstances of the loss. Please refer to the plan for complete terms and conditions of coverage. This is a brief description of coverage provided under form series TP-210 and TP-401 and is subject to the terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions of the plan.  Please see the plan for complete details. Coverage may vary or may not be available in all states.

 

SOURCE International Medical Group (IMG)

Cost of Severe Weather Across Canada Reaches $1.4 billion in Insured Damage

Summer storms across the Prairies continue to demonstrate the financial costs to consumers and tax payers. The July and August storms in Alberta and Saskatchewan caused more than $240 million in insured damage to homes, businesses, and vehicles. This brings the total of insured damage across Canada to $1.4 billion, thus far in 2018.

Severe storms brought damaging wind gusts and large hail to central Alberta and central Saskatchewan on July 6 and 7, 2018. The storm downed large trees onto recreational vehicles and cabins in the Saskatchewan Lakeland region causing $40 million of insured damage.

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) reminds consumers to be insurance aware and to check what your policy covers before severe weather hits. Ask your insurance representative about what coverage is included or what you need to add on, like overland flood coverage, for example. Consumers can also call IBC’s Consumer Information Centre with their questions, at 1-844-2ask-IBC.

To learn how to protect your property against floods and other disasters, visit IBC’s website.

Quote

“Costs from severe weather events in the Prairies and across the country have been increasing. Insured losses is only part of the picture, taxpayers also foot the bill. We all have a role to play in adapting to the changing climate. We need to look at increased access to flood maps so that consumers understand their risk, better land use planning and updated building codes.”

– Celyeste Power, Vice-President, Western, IBC (Acting)

Key Facts

Severe weather events have hit the Prairies, resulting in over $500 million in insured damage.

  • May 2017: Wind, water and flood damage near Lacombe, Alberta, resulted in $68 million in insured damage.
  • June 2017: A hail storm in Saskatchewan caused more than $46 million in insured damage.
  • July 2017: Wind and water damage in in Yorkton and Melville, Saskatchewan, and in parts of Alberta resulted in over $50 million in insured damage.
  • October 2017: A windstorm in Dauphin and Winnipeg, Manitoba, and parts of Alberta caused over $100 million in insured damage.
  • June 2018: Wind, rain and hail in Saskatchewan and Manitoba resulted in $90 million in insured damage.
  • July 2018: Severe thunderstorms in central Alberta caused $120 million in insured damage.
  • August 2018: Hail, strong winds and heavy rain in Alberta and Saskatchewan resulted in $30 million in insured damage.

Additional Resources

IBC.ca – severe weather
Preparing for severe weather

About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 126,000 Canadians, pays $9 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $54.7 billion.

For media releases and more information, visit IBC’s Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau and @IBC_West or like us on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.

If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

Top 10 Winter Driving Tips To Share

Top 10 Winter Driving Tips To Share

Snow is in the forecast across the country, from a chance of snow in Vancouver, to snow on top of more snow in Alberta and the Maritimes. Winter driving is an important skill in our country, and with the holidays coming up the roads will be busier than ever. Share these winter driving tips with your insurance clients and help keep everyone safe on the road.

1. Avoid the winter slip ‘n’ slide: To ensure your vehicle is ready for Canada’s changing winter weather, switch your all-season tires to winter ones before the temperature drops below 7°C. Winter tires optimize the performance and safety of winter driving. Not convinced you need them? Consider that the braking distance of a winter tire could be up to two vehicle lengths shorter than the braking distance of an all-season tire rolling at 24 km/h.

2. Defrost your windows well: Neglecting to defrost your windows might get you to your destination faster, but it’s a dangerous habit. Plan for a few extra minutes to clean all your car’s windows well. And don’t forget to clear off the top of your vehicle—snow could slide down the windshield and obstruct your view while the vehicle is in motion.

3. Winterize your trunk: Keeping a roadside safety kit in your trunk year-round is a good idea, but winter driving conditions require extra safety equipment. Make sure you’re carrying a scraper for the windshield, a small shovel, a sandbag, candles, and warm clothing like gloves and a hat.

4. Replace worn tires:  It’s important to check your tires each winter season because worn or bald tires can be dangerous. Tires have tread wear indicator bars molded into them. A solid bar of rubber across the width of the tread means it’s time to replace the tire.

5. Don’t mix and match:  Mixing tires with different tread patterns, different internal constructions and/or different sizes compromises the stability of the vehicle. Ensure your vehicle is equipped with four identical winter tires.

6. Top up your fluids: Always keep your gas tank at least half full. On very cold days, the condensation in the tank can freeze and cause problems. Also, don’t forget about your windshield-washer fluid – this is also extremely important on those sunny day!

7. Pump up your tires: For every 5°C drop in temperature, tires lose one pound of air pressure. To ensure optimum fuel efficiency and prevent irregular or premature wear, tire inflation should be checked monthly.

8. See and be seen: It is critical for drivers to see and be seen in low light conditions, and when blowing snow impairs visibility. Always drive with your headlights on.

9. Take a cellphone: For long trips, don’t forget to take a cellphone in case you need to call for help. Pull over to the side of the road and stop your vehicle before making the call.

10. 
Drop your speed to match road conditions: The posted speed is the maximum speed under ideal conditions. In winter, it is safer to drive below the posted speed. No matter how much experience you have, the way your car will move on snow or ice always has an element of unpredictability.

Stay safe over the holiday season! Are you an insurance agent looking for a greater understanding of vehicle insurance in your province? ILScorp has online courses for ICBC Autoplan Agents in BC and an Ontario Auto Expert continuing education course. Visit ILScorp.com to learn more about our online continuing education courses for insurance agents.

Dreaming of a white Christmas? It may come down to the wire

Dreaming of a white Christmas? It may come down to the wire

With streams of Arctic air descending straight from the North Pole, The Weather Network’s Holiday Snow Report is forecasting one of the coldest Christmases in quite some time for parts of Canada.

However, as we head into the holiday season, The Weather Network’s meteorologists are still tracking an active weather pattern that will determine whether millions of Canadians will wake up to snow on Christmas morning.

“It’s safe to say Canadians will be tracking more than Santa’s sleigh this Christmas Eve,” said Chris Scott, Chief Meteorologist with The Weather Network. “This active weather pattern has the potential to bring a wide range of precipitation types—snow, rain, freezing rain—so those planning to travel over the holidays should keep a close eye on the fast-changing weather.”

Here’s a more detailed look at the conditions expected across the country this holiday season:

Ontario & Quebec – Unsettled weather for the region heading into the final weekend before Christmas and the potential for another system to impact southern areas during Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Frigid weather arrives for the week between Christmas and New Years with meandering bands of lake effect snow squalls making for difficult to dangerous travel at times around the Great Lakes.

British Columbia – Widespread white Christmas for most of British Columbia and even the potential for some snow to linger until Christmas for parts of the Lower Mainland and along east coast of Vancouver Island.  Generally fair weather expected during the days leading up to Christmas, which is great news for travelers and for enjoying the abundance of snow in the mountains

The Prairies – Frigid weather will grab the headlines across the regions through the holidays with bitter cold temperatures and dangerous wind chills.  Most of the region will have a white Christmas, but the snow cover will be rather thin for a few cities.

Atlantic Canada – Wet weather during the final weekend before Christmas and we are closely monitoring the potential for another system during Christmas Day.  A more wintry pattern is expected during the week between Christmas and New Years with colder temperatures and the potential for an active storm track impacting the region.

With the potential for active weather, Canadians who are travelling to see their loved ones this holiday season are urged to pay extra close attention to daily forecasts. You can prepare for changeable weather patterns by visiting www.theweathernetwork.com or by downloading The Weather Network App and creating an account for personalized and up-to-the-minute forecast information.

Which Canadian cities will see a white Christmas?

Vancouver

Slight Chance

Victoria

No Chance

Edmonton

Slight Chance

Calgary

Guaranteed

Regina

Slight Chance

Saskatoon

Guaranteed

Winnipeg

Guaranteed

Thunder Bay

Guaranteed

London

Probable

Toronto

Probable

Ottawa

Guaranteed

Montreal

Guaranteed

Quebec

Guaranteed

Saguenay

Guaranteed

Fredericton

Probable

Halifax

Slight Chance

Charlottetown

Slight Chance

St. John’s

Probable

Whitehorse

Guaranteed

Yellowknife

Guaranteed

Iqaluit

Guaranteed

Interview opportunities: The Weather Network meteorologists are available for Holiday Snow Report interviews from December 20 to 22, 2017 and can provide region-specific, up-to-the-minute forecasts.

About Pelmorex Weather Networks
Pelmorex Weather Networks, a division of Pelmorex Corp., is a leading international provider of weather-related information services.  It operates in North AmericaEuropeLatin AmericaIndia and Australia under the brands The Weather NetworkMétéoMédiaEltiempo.es and Clima. The Weather Network and its French counterpart MétéoMédia are Canada’s most popular weather and information services on TV, web and mobile apps.  Eltiempo is Spain’s leading multi-platform weather information provider. Pelmorex also operates Canada’s National Alerting Aggregation and Dissemination System (Alert Ready) which aggregates and distributes emergency alerts issued by authorized government agencies.

SOURCE The Weather Network

Alberta sets aside $1.4 billion for industry to reduce carbon emission

Alberta is setting aside close to $1.4 billion from climate levies to help industry reduce carbon emissions.

The government said the funding, spread over seven years, will make it easier for industries to invest in new technologies, stay competitive and create jobs.

“The business case for action on climate change has never been more clear, more urgent or provided so many opportunities,” said Alberta Environment Minister Shannon Phillips at a Calgary press conference Tuesday, December 5, 2017.

“Today’s policy announcement with help grow the modern Alberta economy, put more people back to work, attract more investment dollars, and continue to show the world that low carbon energy is developed and produced right here in Alberta.”

The oilsands industry will get $440 million to update and upgrade facilities so they can better meet new guidelines for large emitters, which the government says it will announce later this week.

Industries of all kinds will be able to apply for a further $225 million for carbon reduction innovations, including $80 million to Emissions Reduction Alberta and $145 million for the Climate Change Innovation and Technology Framework.

Alberta Energy Minister Margaret McCuaig-Boyd said the investments are needed to respond to rapidly changing investor expectations.

“The world is shifting every day. How it produces and how it consumes energy, and how we reduce emissions. And we need to shift it because we’re seeing investors demand credible plans to fight climate change.”

A further $240 million will go to industrial energy efficiency, which will be available to a range of sectors including agriculture, manufacturing and energy.

The plan also sets aside $400 million in loan guarantees for climate reduction programs, reducing the cost and challenges for businesses to fund projects.

When asked if the funding could be considered industry subsidies, Phillips said that industry has provided much of the funds being allocated. He added that the province’s Climate Leadership Panel had recommended that a large amount of climate levy funds be reinvested in reducing industry emissions.

“This is being paid for in large part through the compliance costs our large emitters pay in.”

She also said that while large emitters have paid for much of the funds, they will be available to a range of sectors and business sizes.

“There are so many different firms and so much different kind of activity that you can incent and move along with clean tech investments as well. There’s a whole world of diversification that we can realize through investments like this. It’s a real opportunity.”

 

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