Flood Recovery and Returning Home
Following a flood, it’s important to restore your home as soon as possible to protect your health and prevent further property damage. DO NOT return home until authorities have stated it’s safe to do so. More detailed information can be found in the One Step at a Time: A Guide to Disaster Recovery (PDF).
Rapid Damage Assessment
Rapid damage assessment provides a quick evaluation of an area affected by a disaster, identifies unsafe conditions and assesses damage to buildings. Learn more about rapid damage assessment from BC Housing.
What does the coloured notice that has been placed on my building mean?
As part of the response to the emergency, notices (placards) have been placed on buildings in and around the risk area. The placards indicate that a basic safety assessment had been carried out and as a result, structures were classified as red, yellow or green.
- RED – Do not enter the building because it is unsafe.
- YELLOW – Buildings are considered either suitable for restricted access until issues are resolved, or use may be possible in those parts of the building that have not been damaged.
- GREEN – The building has been assessed and while no apparent structural or other safety hazards are found, a more comprehensive inspection may reveal safety hazards.
Safely Re-entering Your Home
When you are able to begin the re-entry process, it’s important to follow this safety advice:
- Walk around the outside checking for signs of damage or danger
- Before turning on electrical equipment that’s been flooded, have it checked by a qualified electrician
- Dry out, clean and disinfect your home as soon as possible to avoid mold
- If your well has been flooded, assume the water in your home is contaminated and use alternate sources
- Clean up spilled medicines, bleaches, gasoline or other flammable liquids immediately. Wear rubber gloves and protective clothing
- Officials should be advised of major spills or leaks immediately. Call the BC Spill Reporting Line at 1 800 663-3456
Food and Water Safety
Food can be damaged by unsafe temperatures, chemicals, water and loss of power. Discard spoiled food and food that has been stored in a refrigerator that has lost power.
- If your freezer has been without power for more than three days, discard the contents. When in doubt, throw it out!
- Discard foods/items exposed to chemicals and water, as well as damaged, dented or bulging cans
- Photograph foods you discard; the information may be required for insurance purposes
- Do not drink tap water unless local officials have assured you that it’s safe for drinking. If you are on a well or cistern that has been damaged, assume the water is not safe to drink, and contact your local authority for instructions.
Cleaning Up After a Flood
If you have insurance, contact your insurance company first. It may save you a lot of time and effort to consult a flood restoration specialist to help judge what is worth saving and what isn’t. It’s also a good idea to photograph damage to your property as you discover it, so you can update your insurance agent. The basic steps to cleaning up after a flood are:
- Remove standing water
- Remove mud
- Tear out any walls that need it
- Clean up and disinfect
Disaster Financial Assistance
Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA) is a financial assistance program administered by Emergency Management BC to help British Columbians recover from uninsurable disasters. Learn more about DFA and if you are eligible.
- Click here to see a list of events currently eligible for Disaster Financial Assistance.
Resilience Centres & Locations
Following a disaster, a community may set up a resilience centre to to assist individuals through the recovery process. These centres provides the space for and coordination of the various agencies and groups offering guidance, advice, and assistance to those affected by an emergency/disaster.
Grand Forks Resilience Centre
- Local Authorities and First Nations Recovery Toolkit (PDF) (updated May 26th, please clear your cache)
- Flood and Wildfire Recovery Programs – Province of B.C.
- Interior Health Authority Flood Safety Information
- PreparedBC: Flood Information
- Insurance Bureau of Canada
- Government of Canada Flood Information