MRO Magazine

Prepare now for disasters


July 11, 2007
By PEM Magazine
A Level 1 tornado, carrying winds of between 120 and 112 miles per hour, touched down last month in Hamilton, ON. A public school and nearby homes were damaged, power was cut, large trees were toppled and gas mains ruptured. The school suffered major structural damage and two students were injured.

Since record keeping began in the early 1900s, the twister was only the third one to reach ground in Canada later than November 9. Environment Canada says there are an average of 80 tornadoes in Canada a year, 14 of them in Ontario.Measured tornadoes range from a scale of F-0 to F-5.

The most powerful tornadoes ever to hit Canada were both Level 4 storms. Twenty-seven people in Edmonton were killed and hundreds left injured in 1987 after a monstrous tornado struck parts of the city. In 1985, eight people died and 155 were injured after a Level 4 storm ripped through Barrie north of Toronto.

In October 1954, Hurricane Hazel, the worst hurricane in Canada’s history, battered Toronto and caused more than $100 million in damages. Two years ago, Hurricane Juan made landfall in Nova Scotia. The Category Two hurricane sustained winds of 105 miles per hour and minimum central pressure of 28.61 inches of Hg.Hurricane Juan was the worst storm to pound Nova Scotia in more than 100 years.


Seismologists locate an average of 1,500 earthquakes each year in Canada. Earlier this year, an earthquake measuring 3.5 on the Richter scale shook parts of Quebec along the U.S. border. In 1988, an earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale rattled the province. In the last 100 years, British Columbia has had several major earthquakes with more to come, making it the most seismic area of Canada.

Part of this year’s PEM Handbook was written to help facility managers and maintainers better prepare for the unexpected. Be ready when disaster strikes. Keep property, equipment and people safe.

Robert Robertson, Editor
PEMAC Allied Member