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Getting ready for flood season

Floods are one of the most common disasters in Canada – and one of the most costly. While springtime means finally hanging up that parka and retiring the snow shovel for now, warmer weather also means that it’s flooding season for many Canadians.  Whether from melting snow, heavy and steady rain, or other conditions, flooding can be a serious issue.

How you can be ready during flood season:
  • Make sure you know the risks in your community – developed areas on low-lying land can be especially prone to flood damage
  • Do you know what you’d do right now if there was a flood? Making a plan ahead of time, and discussing it with your family, can make sure your household’s needs are met during an emergency
  • Have an emergency kit ready that can meet your family’s needs for at least 72 hours
  • Listen to local news, follow social media updates, and check local weather reports for potential flood warnings – when a warning is issued follow the advice of local authorities
 
What to do during a flood:
  • Follow advice of local authorities
  • Turn off power and gas lines in your home, if necessary
  • Put valuables on the upper floor of your home
  • Remain on the upper floor and wait for instructions and updates from local authorities
  • If you are outdoors find high ground, remain in an area where you are visible and safe
  • Stay away from swollen streams and rivers as moving waters can sweep you away. Take care around puddles when driving as they may be deeper than they appear
  • If you are near a flooded area, park your car in an elevated location. Turn off the engine, get out of your vehicle and wait for instructions and updates from local authorities
What to do after a flood:
  • If you have had to leave your home, return only after officials have declared it safe to do so
  • Say away from fallen power lines
  • Look outside for damage, like loose power lines, damaged gas line, or foundation cracks
  • Approach entrances with care – parts of your home may be damaged
  • Discard any food items that have been in contact with flood waters
  • Do not use water that might be contaminated for drinking, food prep, washing or cleaning
  • If you smell gas or hear a hissing noise, leave your home immediately and call 911
Being ready for flood season can help keep you and your family safe in the event of an emergency, and can make life a bit easier during a hard time. And we’re here too! The Canadian Red Cross has a large network across the country of volunteers and staff who are ready to help when emergencies like floods hit. 
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