Barrie calls on Province to strengthen building code to help homes and businesses survive tornado-force winds

According to research by the University of Western Ontario and the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, 95 percent of the tornadoes in Ontario are magnitude 0-2, and the risk of loss and damage from them can largely be prevented through identified and inexpensive changes in current home construction practices


The City is calling on the Province to strengthen the Ontario Building Code as it relates to tornadoes by requiring hurricane strips on all new builds.
Barrie council backed an action item at Monday’s meeting, essentially asking Queen’s Park to make homes, and other buildings, more able to withstand tornado-force winds. The call was sparked by the July 15 tornado that tore through the south-east part of the city.
According to research by the University of Western Ontario and the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, 95 percent of the tornadoes in Ontario are magnitude 0-2, and the risk of loss and damage from them can largely be prevented through identified and inexpensive changes in current home construction practices, read the item sponsored by Ward 6 councillor Natalie Harris.
The approved action means:
• Staff in the Development Services, Legal Services and Building Services Departments are to partner with the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction to propose to the Province specific measures to modernize the Ontario Building Code with respect to severe wind protection for new homes, including the requirement for the use of straps, clips or other mechanisms to better connect the roof, wall and foundation of homes.
They are also to work in collaboration with other agencies to develop an awareness campaign to inform Barrie residents about the risk of destructive tornadoes, options to assess risk of damage to their home, and identify risk reduction and best practices.
Staff are to report back to general committee.
• That in order to encourage installation of approved severe wind resilience features, staff in the Finance and Legal Services Departments investigate the feasibility of introducing a rebate program for homeowners that did not experience damage resulting from tornado damage on July 15, and financial incentives for those whose homes were damaged, and report back to general committee.

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