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Flooding: how to contain the damage

To help prevent damage caused by flooding, here are some tips that you can easily implement on your own—or with the help of a specialist.

Among the causes of flooding, melting snow is definitely one that should be monitored in the spring, but other extreme weather events, such as torrential rain, also occur regularly from coast to coast.

As a result, the average cost of damage from a flooded basement alone is $43,000 in Canada. As you can see, it isn’t only the water that rises quickly!

Fortunately, there are many things you can do on your own, or with the help of a specialist, so you don’t find yourself knee-deep in water.

How to reduce the risk of flooding

With some simple actions and a few well-spent dollars, you can significantly reduce the risk of flooding and better protect your home and your property when flooding occurs.

Protect your basement from flooding

The Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation at the University of Waterloo offers three prevention strategies that can help you reduce the risk of flooding.

Quick tips

  • Place any objects that may be damaged (books, toys, TVs, etc.) up high.
  • Have stackable plastic bins of different sizes to store bedding, off-season clothing, sports equipment, tools, etc.
  • Store or secure your items that may be washed away or that can damage your property.
  • Stay on top of the flood risks in your area by visiting these sites: Surveillance des crues des eaux (in French) and Flood Forecasting Centres in Canada.
  • In an emergency, check with your local municipality to find out how to get sandbags to build a dike.

What to do in case of a flood?

Finally, if despite everything, a disaster happens, here are some safety tips to implement quickly.

  • To reduce the risk of fire or being electrocuted, turn off the gas and the electricity in your house. If the water has already flooded your home, let your electricity or natural gas supplier turn everything off.
  • When the water level rises and threatens to reach your home, install wooden boards and build your sandbag dikes.
  • Comply with the authorities if they ask you to leave your home because it means the danger is real. Have an arrangement with friends or family who could take you in.
  • Before you leave, find out what condition the roads are in.

What about your car?

Don’t drive your car if water has seeped inside. For security reasons, the car will need to be replaced. Does your car insurance provide “all perils” coverage? If so, the damage may be covered.

What about your insurance policy?

Depending on your situation, you may need additional coverage (or addendum) on your home insurance policy to cover flood risk. Talk to your broker to find out if you are covered and learn which coverage is best for you.