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Thunderstorms and Tornados

For those of us on the lake in the direct line of the July 1 storm/tornado is was very scary. Trees were snapped in half, boats were sunk or tossed on shore. A few properties had damage to buildings. The usual advice is to head for your basement for protection. Since this isn’t an option for most of us in cottage country have a read through the advice below.For the complete article on emergency preparedness go to this



Warning signs of a potential tornado

  • Severe thunderstorms.

  • An extremely dark sky, sometimes highlighted by green or yellow clouds.

  • A rumbling or a whistling sound caused by flying debris.

  • A funnel cloud at the rear base of a thundercloud, often behind a curtain of heavy rain or hail.


In all cases

  • Get as close to the ground as possible, protect your head and watch for flying debris.

  • Do not chase tornadoes – they are unpredictable and can change course abruptly.

  • A tornado is deceptive. It may appear to be standing still butmay in fact be moving toward you.

In a house

  • Go to the basement or take shelter in a small interior ground floor room such as a bathroom, closet or hallway.

  • If you have no basement, protect yourself by taking shelter under a heavy table or desk.

  • In all cases, stay away from windows, outside walls and doors.

In a recreational vehicle or mobile home

  • Find shelter elsewhere, preferably in a building with a strong foundation.

  • If no shelter is available, crouch down in a ditch away from the mobile home or recreational vehicle. Beware of flooding from downpours and be prepared to move.

In a vehicle

  • If you spot a tornado in the distance go to the nearest solid shelter.

  • If the tornado is close, get out of your car and take cover in a low-lying area, such as a ditch.

  • Do not take shelter under an overpass or a bridge. Winds can accelerate under an overpass or a bridge and cause injury or death from flying debris.

Thunderstorms, lightning and hail

Thunderstorms are often accompanied by high winds, hail,

lightning, heavy rain and in rare cases can produce tornadoes.

Hail is formed when updrafts in thunderclouds carry raindrops

upward into extremely cold areas of the atmosphere, where they

freeze and merge into lumps of ice.

Thunderstorms, lightning and hail:

  • Thunderstorms and lightning occur throughout Canada but less frequently in the North. On average, 10 people die each year in Canada and up to 160 are injured during such storms.

  • Thunderstorms are usually over within an hour, although a series of thunderstorms can last several hours.

  • Hailstorms occur across Canada, mostly from May to October. They are most frequent in Alberta, the southern Prairies and in southern Ontario.

  • Some hailstones are the size of peas while others can be as big as grapefruits.

  • Hail comes down at great speed, especially when accompanied by high winds and can cause serious injuries and damages.

  • If you are caught outside and you can see lightning or hear thunder, you are in danger of being hit. Seek shelter immediately either in an enclosed building or a hard-topped vehicle. There is no safe place outside in a thunderstorm.

  • If caught outside far from a safe location, stay away from tall objects, such as trees, poles, wires and fences. Take shelter in a low lying area.

  • Wait 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder before going outside again.

  • Before a severe thunderstorm, unplug radios, televisions and appliances (especially those that may start up automatically when the power is restored). Listen for weather updates on your wind-up or battery-powered radio.

  • If you need to use the phone during a thunderstorm use a cordless phone.

  • Stay away from items that may conduct electricity, such as corded telephones, appliances, sinks, bathtubs, radiators and metal pipes.

  • If hail is forecast, protect your vehicle by putting it in the garage or other enclosed space.

  • Take cover when hail begins to fall. Do not go out to cover plants, cars or garden furniture.

  • When a hailstorm hits, stay indoors, and keep yourself and your pets away from windows, glass doors and skylights which can shatter if hit by hailstones




Public Safety Canada publishes a wide variety of products aimed at helping citizens know the risks and get prepared for emergencies. Our publications can be downloaded and printed from this page

Fire Prevention & Safety (including emergency access for water access properties)

The following word document on ‘Emergency Preparedness’ was created with the input from Mark Schjerning, Chief of Emergency Service, County of Lennox and Addington (ambulance services) and Casey Cuddy, Fire Chief for Addington Highlands & Ward 1 of North Frontenac.  The powerpoint presentation was presented at the 2015 AGM.   It is recommended that all our members review it, espcially those with lake access. 

For lake access cottagers you may need to make a decision whether you can bring the person to the shore to meet the EMT or whether you need the EMT to come to the cottage.   Remember, when you call 911, they are located at a dispatch centre and do not necessarily know Mazinaw Lake.  They will not send an ambulance if you don't have an address to supply to them.  Tapping's Landing at Mazinaw Lake is not good enough!  Thus, you need to know in advance the address you want the ambulance to be dispatched to.  As well, you need to make sure your 911 number is clearly visible from the water should the fire department come to your cottage by boat. 

Here are 3 addresses that these services can be directed to:

  1. Brown's Camp:        61 Addington Road 5, RR# 1 Cloyne
  2. Buckley Property:    16833 Highway 41 Cloyne (613-336-1053). Note: Ambulance can drive down to the dock and you can leave your boat for a short time.  This is the old Bon Echo Villa property. 
  3. Tapping's Landing: 371 North Mazinaw Heights Road, Cloyne
  4. Smarts Marina:    1018 Smart Road, Cloyne  Note:  gate is only open during business hours.

Please read the document as there are many key points to consider.  Also, please consider putting these addresses  on your fridge so they are front and centre.  We hope no one will ever have an emergency but if you do, this could save you some time and stress. 


Emergency Preparedness powerpoint version Emergency Preparedness Download
Emergency Preparedness created with the input from Mark Schjerning, Chief of Emergency Service, County of Lennox and Addington (ambulance services) and Casey Cuddy, Fire Chief for Addington Highlands & Ward 1 of North Frontenac....Word document version Emergency Preparedness Download
For your fridge or inside MPOA Directory Know the 911 number in case of an emergency Emergency Preparedness Download