Flood Response 101
It's natural to feel scared, confused and even frustrated if an overland flooding event impacts your home or community. Below are a few suggestions on how to safely respond to emergency flood situations, so that you can get back to normal as quickly as possible.
Make family health a priority during flooding emergencies. Take steps to avoid illness. Learn and take time to disinfect your water supply properly.
Use caution on roads and waterways
Make room on the roads for first-responders and designated emergency suppliers by staying off disaster response routes so supplies and assistance can be sent to communities quickly. Boating is not recommended during a flooding situation; you may end up too close to power lines and there are many potential dangers below the water's surface. If you are forced to boat in a flooded area, never travel at night and always wear a lifejacket.
Turn off electrical and gas
Water, gas and live electrical wires can be a lethal combination. If flooding occurs, leave your home immediately after turning off the main power switch. Do NOT attempt to turn power off once water has entered a building. Avoid touching damp walls and do not enter flooded basements that may contain energized electrical wiring or appliances. If you smell gas, or if there is evidence of a gas leak, don't enter the building. Call your local fire department or 9-1-1 and return only after local authorities indicate it is safe.
Mop Up: Get "The Guide"
Clean-up after a flood can sometimes feel overwhelming. Take it one step at a time. Emergency Management BC's Guide to Disaster Recovery can help you get started.
About Emergency Social Services
If you are placed on evacuation order, contact your local authority to inquire about short-term assistance. Assistance may include food, lodging, clothing, emotional support and family reunification to help British Columbians who are forced to leave their homes.
About Disaster Financial Assistance
If a person experiences damage from a flooding disaster they should first contact their local government. Emergency Management BC supports and works with local governments to determine if and when an event should be eligible for B.C.'s Disaster Financial Assistance Program (DFA). The DFA program helps those impacted by a disaster cope with the cost of repairs and recovery from uninsurable disaster-related property damage.
- Disaster Financial Assistance is only available for provincial disasters after the provincial government has declared the disaster eligible for DFA.
- The purpose of DFA is to provide assistance to individuals for their principal residence and to help small business/farm owners when their livelihoods are at risk.
- Damage must be from an event that is uninsurable, such as overland flooding.
- Insurable damages such as snow load, wind damage, sewer or sump pit back-up, water entry from above ground (including roofs, windows or other areas of a building), are not eligible for DFA.
Local governments can access the Top 10 Essentials to Disaster Financial Assistance in addition to more information found on Emergency Management BC's website. The best response to flooding events is preparation and planning before they happen.