Flooding can happen at any time of year and can cause extensive damage to your property.
Taking steps now to minimize the impacts of flooding will save you money, time and stress.
Flooding can be caused by heavy rainfall, ice jams, rapid melting of glaciers or snow packs, or natural or man-made dam failures. If you live in a low-lying area along rivers or ravines, you are at higher risk of flooding.
Steps to take now
- Build an emergency kit to support you and your family for at least 72 hours.
- Make a household emergency plan to guide you and your family – including pets and livestock – through an emergency.
- Download the Alberta Emergency Alert app for critical, life-saving alerts.
- If you live near a river, download the Alberta Rivers: Data and Advisories app or visit Alberta River Basins for information about water levels.
- Make sure your property, belongings and vehicles are properly insured.
- Store important documents such as passports, birth certificates, banking information and insurance papers in an above-ground location.
Protecting your home
- Use weather protection sealant around basement windows and the base of ground-level doors.
- Ensure downspouts are pointed away from buildings so they move water away from the property.
- Install a sump pump and zero reverse flow valves in basement floor drains if possible.
- Consult your electricity or fuel supplier for instructions on how to safeguard electrical, natural gas or propane equipment.
During a flood
Never attempt to cross a flooded area. Water is powerful — six inches of moving water can knock over an adult and 12 inches can carry away a car. Two feet of moving water can easily move mid-sized vehicles.
- If you’ve been directly impacted, make sure you are safe before assisting others. Check yourself and those around you for injuries; administer first aid, if needed, and call 9-1-1 if there are life-threatening injuries.
- Activate and follow your emergency plan.
- Get your emergency kit and keep it nearby.
- Monitor alerts from Alberta Emergency Alert.
- Listen to a local radio or television station for information from local authorities.
- Access your local authority’s website and/or social media channels for information and instructions.
- Avoid locking farm animals in enclosures, such as barns. They could drown if they are trapped.
- Limit non-emergency phone calls to keep phone networks free for those who require emergency services.
- This also helps to save battery power if you are using a cell phone.
- In some cases, authorities will give instructions on how to protect your home. They may ask you to shut off water, electricity or gas. Do not shut off your utilities unless directed to do so. Do not shut off electricity if water is present.
- If driving or evacuating, avoid low-lying areas such as ravines or underpasses that could flood quickly. If you are caught in fast-rising waters and your vehicle stalls, abandon your vehicle to save yourself and your passengers.