Tips on planning for a flood.
- Know if you live in a flood-risk area.
- Prepare personal emergency supply kits for your home, car and work (plan for at least a three-day supply of food and water for each family member).
- Have a grab-and-go kit ready if you have to leave your home quickly.
- Keep important papers in watertight containers and have a record of your valuables in a safe place.
- If flooding is likely in your area, listen to local media reports for information.
- Watch for warning signs: increased height and intensity of water flows, mudslides, debris in creeks, colour changes in water or leaning trees.
- Consider arrangements for your pets and any livestock.
- Check on elderly or disabled neighbours to ensure they are aware of the flood threat.
- Visit the Provincial Emergency Program website and your local community website for personal emergency preparedness information.
Privately owned and operated wells in areas affected by floods may have become contaminated or damaged by the flooding, leading to unsafe water. Areas where there has been emergency application of manure on farmland may be also impacted. The program will provide testing for safety. Until January 31, 2022, if you have a private surface water intake or well used for drinking water, contact Health Protection for information on eligibility. For more details, read the HealthLinkBC Information Bulletin.
Threatened by flood waters
If your property is threatened by rising waters:
- Bring in outdoor furniture; move essential items and any hazardous materials such as cleaners or pesticides to an upper floor or away from the area.
- Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves and unplug electrical items.
- Prepare for the possibility of evacuation.
- Visit BC Hydro for information on floods and electrical safety.
- Visit Fortis BC for information on floods.
If you must evacuate
- Always follow the instructions of local emergency officials.
- Ensure each family member has waterproof clothing and footwear.
- Lock all doors and windows and double check to ensure gas, electricity and water are all shut off.
- Turn off your gas at the main shut-off valve. Don’t turn it back on yourself.
- Take extra care while driving – familiar roads may look dramatically different when flooded. Do not drive into flooded areas. Check the road conditions before you leave.
- Do not walk through moving water. Less than 15 centimetres of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, go where the water is not moving and watch for tripping hazards.
- In the event of an evacuation, make sure you register at your local community reception centre.
- Keep disaster response routes clear.
After a flood
- Listen for news reports to learn whether the water supply is safe to drink. Watch for boil water advisories.
- Avoid floodwaters – it may be contaminated or electrically charged from downed power lines.
- Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.
- Clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Mud left from floodwater can contain sewage and chemicals. BC HealthLink has information in multiple languages about how to clean up after a flood.
- Do not turn on electrical switches or wet electrical equipment unless verified by an electrician.
- Throw out food contaminated by either flood waters or being left in an unplugged fridge.
- Contact your insurance and utility companies.
Taking care of mental health during flood events
- A flood can be very stressful. Fraser Health has resources to support your mental health needs.
- For a child/youth mental health crisis, call Fraser Health’s START program at 1-844-782-781.
- For mental health/substance use concerns, call the 24/7 Fraser Health Crisis Line at 604-951-8855 or toll-free at 1-877-820-7444.
- Fraser Health also provides connections to cross-cultural supports for mental health concerns, including resources and videos.
- For Crisis lines that offer culturally safe supports please call:
- To access Fraser Health Virtual Care, call 1-800-314-0999 (7 days a week 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.)
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