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A wall of sandbags holding back flood watersFlooding can be caused by heavy rainfalls, a quick snow melt, a burst dam, or a violent storm. Planning ahead can lessen the impact of a flood on your home.

Prepare for floods

  • Flood proof your home by ensuring downspouts drain far away from your house and that soil slopes away from your foundation.
  • Ask your plumber about whether a sump pump or zero reverse flow valve in your basement floor drain will protect your home from flooding.
  • Prepare a survival kit and an emergency food and water kit.
  • Talk to your family about what everyone should do if a flood occurs.

If a flood is forecast

  • Listen for updates on your radio or television.
  • Move pesticides, weed killers, fertilizers and other articles that may pollute flood waters to a higher level in your home. If possible, seal them in plastic garbage bags.
  • Move furniture, all electrical appliances/tools, and other belongings to floors above the anticipated flood level.
  • Disconnect eavestroughs if they drain into your home’s sewer system.
  • Follow emergency crew instructions if you are asked to build a sandbag or polyethylene barrier to protect your home.

If there is immediate danger of flooding:

  • Take precautions to safeguard electrical, natural gas or propane heating equipment (e.g., turn off, furnace and outside gas valve).
  • Shut off the electricity ONLY IF SAFE TO DO SO. Visit SaskPower to learn more.
  • Plug basement sewer drains, sinks, and laundry outlets.
  • Remove the toilet bowl from any basement bathroom and plug that sewer drain securely.
  • Listen to the radio from your survival kit to find out what areas are affected, as well as what roads are safe to travel on and where to go/what to do if you are asked to evacuate.
  • Be prepared to evacuate your home on short notice.

Stay safe during a flood

If you are accidentally trapped at home or at work when the flood arrives:

  • Do not touch anything electrical (e.g., appliances, light switches, etc.)
  • Move to a location higher than the anticipated flood level.
  • Listen for updates and instructions on your portable radio.
  • Evacuate the building following instructions given by emergency crews.

If you are outside:

  • Stay away from downed power lines and structures that could collapse.
  • Don't walk through floodwaters; you can be knocked off your feet by 15 cm of fast moving water.
  • If swept away by water, cling to any stationary object (e.g., tree/telephone pole) until emergency crews can rescue you.

If you are driving:

  • Don't drive through floodwaters: - Water may be deeper than it appears. - 60 cm of water can sweep away a car.
  • Avoid crossing bridges or travelling through underpasses that could collapse.
  • Leave your vehicle and move to higher ground if your vehicle stalls in fast-rising water.

After the flood

  • Assume everything touched by floodwaters is contaminated with dangerous chemicals and germs.
  • Keep small children, pregnant women and people with health problems away from the flooded area until clean-up is complete.
  • Listen to your radio and television for information and updates about assistance and clean up programs.
  • Since serious health hazards can be present, follow the advice of emergency officials to clean up your home. Visit the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and check out the Red Cross Guide to Recovery for additional information about flood clean up procedures.