Destruction in Gich, Punial

Destruction in Gich, Punial

Floods are a high-cost, high-frequency natural disaster that may occur as a result of heavy rainfall. Flooding can also occur if persistent rainfall over several hours or days has saturated the ground, or if it has rained on already frozen ground. Flash flooding occurs when low-lying areas or streams experience rapidly rising water. Flooding can also result from tsunamis (see earthquake preparedness).

Flooding in Canada is on the rise and is becoming a costly problem. Over the last 10 years there have been nine floods each exceeding an estimated $500 million dollars in damage, according to the CBC. There are measures you can take to protect your home from flooding damage.

There are several measures that individuals can take to protect their households and families from the consequences of a flood.  While each situation may be different, it is ultimately your responsibility to determine what is safe. Here are some ideas of measures you may wish to undertake.

Investing in minor home repairs can prevent costly repairs that may result from flooding.  Some ideas are as follows:

  • Seal potential leaks around basement windows and doors with weather protection sealant
  • Ensure that downspouts are positioned for water to easily flow away from the residence
  • Ensure pesticides and insecticides containers are stored securely and off the ground
  • Safeguard electrical equipment (lawn mowers, snow plows, barbeques etc.)
  • Regularly keep gutters, drains, and downspouts clear of debris
  • Purchase toilet plug stoppers – if you do not have an anti-backflow toilet


If a flood warning is issued, the following are some of the additional measures that can be taken:

  • Shut off electricity
  • Move furniture and electrical appliances above ground

If a flood occurs, it is highly recommended that you DO NOT shut off electricity, as water conducts electricity and attempting to shut off electricity during a flood increases your risk of experiencing an electrical shock.

Having adequate emergency supplies available for you and your family will allow for emergency responders to treat the most critical areas first.  Each family should create a supply list to match your specific needs – and here are a few ideas to help guide you:


Water—at least a 3-day supply; 4 litres per person per day
Emergency Plan

Can opener
Aid – First Aid Kit
Money (Cash)
Emergency Flashlight (plus batteries)

Edibles—at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food
Additional Items
Documents – (identification, medication list, home ownership/rental documentation, birth certificates, insurance policies, Emergency contact numbers)
Your Keys – Extra set of car keys and house keys

Other items

  • Waterproof duffle bag to store emergency supplies
  • Heating Fuel
  • Medications (7-day supply)
  • Swiss Army Knife (or comparable tool)
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • City map
  • Protective shoes, clothes, rain gear, and a hat
  • Supplies for babies and pets
  • Emergency blanket
  • Insect repellent and sunscreen
  • Camera for photos of damage


  • Check for updates: radio, television, and social networks for updates and evacuation advisements

If evacuation is necessary:

  • Ensure all your family members and pets are accounted for

  • It is recommended that you leave your home immediately. Be sure to take your emergency kit and other supplies and leave a clearly visible note informing people that you are safe and your location

  • Be sure to follow the instructions of local authorities.  If no one is available to provide you with instructions, you should consider walking towards an area with higher elevation


  • Follow the instructions of emergency officials

  • Avoid crossing flooded areas

In your car

  • It is not advisable to drive through flooded areas – finding an alternate route is recommended

  • Avoid driving over bridges

  • If your car stalls while driving through water, it is recommended that you safely exit your vehicle

  • Wait for emergency officials to declare area safe before re-entering

  • Avoid fallen powerlines

  • Double-check for loose power lines and damaged gas lines – if you smell gas do not enter your house and call the fire department

  • If there is visible collapse or damage in your home or building, it is recommended that you do not enter

  • Wear rubber gloves and boots for cleaning up

  • Discard food, water bottles, and canned goods that were in contact with flood water

  • Listen for advisories from emergency officials

  • Ensure water is acceptable for consumption

  • If tap water looks or smells like it may be contaminated you can take precautionary measures like boiling your water. If there is sediment or if the water appears cloudy try filtering it through a coffee filter if available or a piece of cloth before boiling. Boil the water for at least one minute and then let it cool before consuming

  • If boiling water is not an option, water can also be disinfected using either iodine or household bleach

    • Add 1/8th of a teaspoon of unscented bleach (or 2 drops) for every litre of water

    • Once the bleach is in the water, let sit for half an hour before consuming

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