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
- 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.
- 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, stay safe. 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
- 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.
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 and pay attention to any emergency alerts that are pushed to your phone or smart device.
- 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 the Province of Nova Scotia's website.
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!