Floods

Next to spring thaw, heavy storm rainfall is the most common cause of flooding.

Heavy rains caused by thunderstorms – or warm, moist air rising rapidly – can produce flash floods. 

Floods are the most frequent natural hazard in Canada and can occur at any time of the year

Before

  • The key to staying safe is to prepare and to have an emergency plan in place.
  • Know the flood risk in your community by calling your municipality and insurance company.
  • Know and practice evacuation routes.
  • Monitor local weather and alerts and follow instructions if told to evacuate. 

Actions to Take: 

  • Protect your valuables in waterproof containers. Place them above potential water levels. 
  • Put sealant around basement windows and the base of ground-level doors.
  • Raise large appliances in the basement above the potential water level from a flood.
  • Make sure your sump pump is working and install a battery-operated backup. 
  • Check that your roof and eaves-troughs are draining properly in heavy rains. 
  • Talk with your family and neighbors about what you would do during a flood.
  • Have practice drills with your family.

During

  • listen to local news and weather reports for possible flood warnings and reports of flooding in progress.
  • Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.
  • When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.
  • Turn around – don’t drown! Avoid walking and driving through flooded waters. They could be deeper than you think.
  • Keep children and pets away from flood water.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.
  • Individuals who encounter or experience flooding should contact 311. Calls will be assessed and re-directed accordingly.
  • if you are trapped or injured call 911

After

  • Continue to take precautions and listen to and follow directions from local authorities.
  • Be alert for further instructions from officials and community leaders - listen to the radio, watch your local news channels, and/or follow your local news outlet and/or emergency officials on social media.
  • Do not return home until you are advised it is safe to do so. 
  • Contact your insurance company and let them know what happened. They will want to know a record of damage to your home and belongings and may request photos or video. 
  • Maintain good hygiene during flood cleanup by minimizing contact with floodwater or anything that may have come in contact with it. 
  • Wear protective clothing, including rubber boots or sturdy boots, safety glasses, hard hat, rubber gloves and a dust mask. 
  • Do not use water that could be contaminated. 
  • Discard any food items which may have been in contact with flood waters. When in doubt, throw it out!
  • Do not use any appliances, heating, pressure, or sewage system until electrical components are dry and have been inspected by a qualified electrician.
  • Check with local authorities or community leaders on how to properly dispose of damaged items from your home.
Stormwater Runoff

FAQ

How can I stay informed?

  • Stay up to date on storm warnings and risks of hurricanes through Environment Canada.
  • Stay informed by following us on social media @hfxgov @hfxmoments, listening to the radio and local news channels.
  • The municipality will issue a public service announcement to all local media outlets and will share the information through its social media channels.
  • Register for hfxALERT.
  • Stay prepared by following FloodSmartCanada and Canada flood Ready.
  • Stay alert by following storm warnings and weather forecasts through Public Weather Alerts Canada.

I have a well, is it safe to drink the water?

  • If your house has been flooded and you have a well, don't drink the water. Have it tested first as Flood water can be heavily contaminated.
  • For information regarding well water testing visit Nova Scotia Environment, or call 1.800.565.1633 | 902.424.3600

What can I do to protect myself?

  • The best way to protect yourself and your family in case of a flood is to follow these steps:
  • Monitor local weather and alerts: Know your risk. 
  • Turn around, don’t drown – avoid flood waters.
  • Clean up carefully and wear protective clothing. 

How can I help?

  • Join our JEM team!