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Flooding mainly occurs in spring when the snow melts and in the summer during heavy rains. Nonetheless, for several years now, we have observed high water levels even in winter.
Municipalities must be attentive to the possible indicators and causes of flooding on their territories and take measures to protect their citizens and essential infrastructures. Citizens must do whatever is necessary to protect themselves and their belongings.
CAREFULLY PREPARE AND LOWER THE RISKS :
- Check to see if your home is located in a flood-prone area.
- Contact your municipality to familiarize yourself with the flooding risks in your district and the emergency measures in place.
- Prepare a family emergency plan and an emergency kit.
- Have an anti-backflow device (or check valve) installed. This device will prevent wastewater from overflowing municipal sewers from entering your basement. Ask an expert!
- Check whether your home insurance covers flooding.
What to do before, during and after a flood:
IN THE CASE OF A FLOOD WARNING:
- Move basement or main floor items to the top floor.
- Safely store away chemical or harmful products such as insecticides and waste oil residue and make sure these are out of reach of children.
- Block all basement sewer conduits if they are not protected by a check valve.
- Block the basement drain.
ELECTRICITY AND NATURAL GAS
- Shut off the gas and electricity. If the water level starts to rise, make sure your feet are on a dry surface and use a wooden stick to shut off the electricity to the house. If the water starts to enter your home, don’t touch anything and immediately call Hydro-Québec at 1800 790-2424 to ask them to disconnect the electricity.
- Shut off the main gas valve and make sure all propane tanks are tightly closed.
- Shut off the tap near the outlet valve on the oil tank.
- Remove or secure all mobile items in the yard to prevent them from being thrown or swept away.
- If your municipality provides sandbags, install a trench filled with sandbags.
- Monitor the situation on the radio, on television or on the Internet and rely only on official information sources. Follow the safety instructions that you receive.
ELECTRICITY AND NATURAL GAS
- If you smell gas or if your natural gas equipment is visibly damaged, call the emergency services number for your natural gas provider.
- If you are using a generator, follow the instructions for its installation and use.
EVACUATION AND TRAVEL
- Evacuate your home if the water level requires you to leave or the authorities order you to evacuate. Pack a few essential items such as warm clothing and waterproof gear if it is raining.
- Avoid walking and driving on flooded streets. Abandon your vehicle if the engine stalls.
- Check the road conditions before setting out on www.quebec511.info or call 511.
- Advise municipal officials how to reach you if you are not going to a municipal shelter.
- Keep in touch with your loved ones through brief telephone conversations so as to not overload the telephone systems.
- If possible, communicate via text messages and social media and carefully monitor the battery level on your mobile device.
WHEN THE WATER SUBSIDES
- You may re-enter your home if authorities allow it and it is safe to do so, preferably during the day when it will be easier to identify problems and hazards. When you arrive, take photos to document damage to your home.
- Consult an electrician before reconnecting the electricity to your home.
- Consult an expert before reconnecting heating appliances.
- If you have a personal well, you must assume that the water is undrinkable even if it appears clear and is odourless. Until you can determine whether your well water is safe to drink, boil it vigorously for one minute before drinking it, or drink bottled water.
- Assume that the water from the municipal waterworks is safe unless you receive a notice to the contrary from the municipal officials in the waterworks department. In case of doubt with respect to water colour or odour, contact municipal officials before drinking it.
- Clean all rooms contaminated by the floodwater. Remove and discard all absorbent items from the water, such as gypsum board, fibreglass, carpeting, pressed wood, etc.
- Discard all foods that come into contact with floodwater. Make sure all food is wholesome before eating.
- Return all medications that come into contact with the floodwater to the pharmacy for safe disposal by the pharmacist.
- Sterilize contaminated cooking utensils with boiling water.
- Watch for the presence of mould (odours such as mould, dirt or alcohol, green or black spots on floors or walls), which can trigger health problems. If you have health problems, immediately consult a physician or request psychosocial assistance from a CLSC on your territory.
- Before using appliances that are connected to your plumbing system, make sure the municipal sewage system or your septic system is working properly.
- Clean or replace aerators and shower heads and their flexible hosing.
- Check and, if necessary, clean all orifices on sanitary appliances and make sure they are working properly (including inside the toilet tank and the sink and bathtub overflow drains.
- Clean all ditches and make sure all sump pumps are working.
- Locate, check and clean floor drains and anti-backflow devices.
- If necessary, have all anti-backflow devices inspected by a certified expert.
- Empty, clean and replace water softener filters, if necessary.
- Never touch power wires or equipment you find on the ground. Call Hydro-Québec, at 1 800 790-2424, if you see a power line on the ground.
- Carefully remove all debris from your yard.
- Handle all waste materials in compliance with the standards in effect.
- Never drive a flooded motor vehicle, including a motorcycle or recreational vehicle (RV, trailer).
- Take inventory of all damage the water has caused to your property and take supporting photographs. Notify your municipality and your insurance company. Keep all receipts and proofs of purchase for damaged goods for your claims.
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Live road conditions
Continuous territory monitoring
- Carte de vigilance multirisque (French only)