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What to do in high winds or a windstorm

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Prepare for an emergencyDuring high winds

Calgary is prone to high winds which can be dangerous: flying debris, downed trees, and power lines can lead to power outages, property damage, air and transit disruptions and serious injury. Windstorms in Calgary can happen anytime; good indicators of high winds include thunderstorms, intense low pressure centres, cold fronts, and Chinook arches.

Southern Alberta is one of the windiest regions in Canada. Calgary averages about 13 days a year with wind speeds over 63 km/h. A wind storm in 2017 with wind speeds of 93 km/h knocked out power to 12,000 homes and businesses. Our Disaster Risk Explorer has information about the risk of disasters in Calgary and what the City is doing to prepare for it.​

How to prepare for high winds or a windstorm

  • Learn the indicators of high winds:
    • thunderstorms
    • intense low pressure centres
    • cold fronts
    • Chinook arches.
  • Secure all loose items on your property and balcony that might be blown around to prevent flying objects from injuring people and damaging property.
  • Trim branches and cut down dead trees to reduce the danger of them falling during a storm.
  • Clean gutters, drains and downpipes and make sure your roof is in good repair.
  • Put your car in the garage, shelter pets and livestock, and continue to monitor weather conditions.

Staying safe in a windstorm

  • ​Seek shelter inside a safe, enclosed building. Walking and balancing against high winds is a risk to personal safety.
  • Stay indoors and shelter-in-place. Find a space away from windows or glass doors and stay clear of fireplaces.
  • If the wind causes a power outage, turn off all appliances and do not use generators indoors. Learn more about what to do during a power outages.
  • Stay away from downed power lines and cables. Learn more about what to do if you see a downed power line.
  • Avoid driving. If you are in a vehicle during a windstorm, park away from trees or power lines and avoid the base of steep or unstable slopes and low areas prone to flooding. Stay inside the car.
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After a windstorm