Floods - What To Do

Be Prepared

Though governments at every level work to reduce the risk of floods, the first line of defence always rests with the individual.  Each of us has a responsibility to protect our homes and families to the greatest extent possible.  By planning ahead and taking sensible precautions, you can do your part to minimize flood damage.

Flash or sudden flooding, in which warning time is extremely limited, can result from other causes such as earthquakes, tsunamis or tidal waves, hurricanes, violent storms or bursting of dams.  In all cases, local government authorities try to keep residents informed of developments in areas most likely to be affected by flooding.  Regular media advisories will recommend actions people should take to limit or prevent disaster.  As the need arises, more detailed instructions by municipal or provincial authorities will be given.

Before The Flood

General Precautions

  1. Ensure that you have a battery-powered radio in working order, with spare batteries, to listen to instructions from your local station.
  2. Prepare for a minimum of a one week emergency kit that includes food, water and medical supplies in an easy-to-carry container.  In addition to the battery-powered radio and spare batteries, it should contain at least the following items:
    • Flashlight with spare batteries
    • Warm clothing, including waterproof outer garments and footwear
    • Blankets
    • All necessary medication
    • Infant care items
    • Personal toiletries

About the Freshet

Annually in May and June, British Columbia experiences a freshet.  This occurs when accumulated snow at higher elevations melts, causing river levels to rise. 

Due to rainfall and rapid snow melt, a high streamflow advisory may issued for the Lower Fraser River.  A high streamflow advisory means that river levels are rising or expected to rise rapidly, but that no major flooding is expected.  Minor flooding in low-lying areas, outside of the diking system is possible.  Let us answer your questions regarding the freshet and how it affects you.  Download our Freshet Fact Sheet.

Check out our Fact Sheets in our Resource Library to better prepare yourself and your family in the event of an emergency.  

Resource Library

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