Skip to content. Accessibility info.

What to do during a flood

In Nova Scotia, there is potential for floods due to factors such as high tides, major storms and rapid snow melts either in the winter or spring. Floods can occur after tropical storms / hurricanes, ice storms and unexpected torrential rains will result in serious flooding.

If you are inside:

  • Monitor local radio stations.
  • Be prepared to evacuate.
  • Shut off electricity. Do not attempt to turn off the electricity if the main switch is in a location that has already flooded. If the area around the fuse box or circuit breaker is wet, stand on a dry wooden board and use a dry wooden stick to turn off the switch.
  • Purify water. If through taste, colour or odour you suspect that your drinking water has been contaminated, purify it.
  • Move furniture, electrical appliances and items of personal significance to upper floors and/or higher levels.
  • Remove dangerous chemical products from the basement, this will help to prevent further contamination of water.
  • Wash hands often when in contact with flood water as it may be contaminated by gasoline, oil or bacteria.
  • Do not use food that has come in contact with flood water.

If you are outside:

  • The water may be deeper than you expect; there may be unknown hazards in the water and/or the fast moving water could sweep you away.
  • If you are caught in fast rising waters and your car stalls, you and your passengers should leave the car to avoid possible drowning.
  • Try not to drive through flood waters. The water may be deeper than it looks and your car could run into an unseen obstacle or get stuck.
  • Avoid crossing bridges, especially if the water is high and flowing quickly. Your car may be swept away by water, or the bridge may lose its stability due to running floodwaters.

When asked to evacuate:

  • Leave immediately. Ignoring warnings to evacuate your home could jeopardize the safety of your household members and of those people who might eventually have to come to your rescue.
  • Take your emergency kit with you.
  • Listen to the radio and follow instructions from local emergency officials.
  • If you are instructed to do so, shut off water, gas and electricity.
  • Lock the house.
  • If you have time, leave a note telling others when you left and where you went.
  • Follow the routes specified by officials. Do not take shortcuts because a shortcut could lead to a blocked or dangerous area