5 tips to help you prepare for a flood

Read this article in French.

Did you know that flood-prone areas in Quebec are distributed differently each year? In recent years, areas that were never considered susceptible to this type of disaster were hit by floods. Here are a few tips from the La Capitale blog to help you prepare your home in anticipation of a flood.


1. Call your insurance representative to find out whether you’re covered for damages caused by flooding

You’ll then know what to expect if your home or property is damaged by a flood! He or she can confirm whether your home insurance already includes coverage that protects you from this type of disaster. If you’re not already covered, check if your insurer offers optional coverage for damages resulting from a flood, and if your home is eligible for such coverage.

2. Take preemptive action to limit potential damage in your basement

Make sure the basement windows are properly sealed, as windows provide the easiest access for water to enter your home during floods. Periodically verify the joints and, reapply sealant to the edges if any weakness is observed.
Install non-return valves to limit water seepage through sewers or drains.
Elevate any furniture, electrical appliances and other items stored in the basement to protect them from water damage.
Keep your valuable property on upper-level floors.
Securely fasten any tanks or central heating unit located in your basement.
Modify your landscape to direct water away from foundations. The land around your home should slope slightly downward by at least six meters to prevent water accumulation and leaks into your basement. It’s also a good idea to plant water resistant plants around the house to limit soil erosion.
Planning to renovate or finish your basement? Before you begin, remember the following:

  • The risk of financial loss and property damage caused by water seepage or flooding is lower when your basement is not finished.
  • It’s always best to use water- and mold-resistant materials.

3. Put together an emergency kit so that you’re prepared in the event of flooding.

Your emergency kit should be accessible and contain the items your family will need in order to get by for three days. Check its contents yearly.

4. Monitor reports from authorities about the water levels and flow in your area

Here are the sources you should monitor to stay on top of the situation and what measures to take:
– Local media reports
– Your city’s website
– The Urgence Québec website
– The ministère de la Sécurité publique website or, if you live on the shores of the St. Lawrence River, the Fisheries and Oceans Canada website.

5. As soon as there is a high risk of flooding, make sure your family is safe and try to limit the damage

BEFORE water seeps into your home, you should:
Shut off any electricity, gas or oil supply. If water has already seeped into your home, immediately call Hydro-Québec and do not try to turn the power off yourself.
Try to prevent water from seeping in by placing sandbags around the house and by installing waterproofing membranes along any openings through which water could seep in. If you live near the St. Lawrence River, board up your windows facing the river with plywood.
Check that the non-return valve is operating correctly to avoid sewer backups. Don’t have a non-return valve? Block the sewer lines and the basement drain.
Move as many objects as possible from the basement to the floors above, especially any chemical or dangerous products.


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