What to Do
Floods can occur at any time and can cause significant damage to your home and property. Sewer backups, leaks, broken water mains, torrential rainfalls, and sudden ice thaws can all result in flooding. Weather disasters, such as hurricanes and storm surges, can cause the water level to rise violently along the coastline. The risk of flooding is generally highest in the spring with heavy rains and winter thawing.
When a Flood Warning is Issued:
- Fill your bathtub(s) with water for flushing, washing and cleaning
- Be sure to tune in to local broadcast networks for updates from authorities.
- Set aside a supply of drinking water, in case your supply becomes contaminated.
- Disconnect eaves troughs that drain into sewer.
- Remove all chemicals from basement.
- Move furniture and personal belongings to a higher floor.
- If your property is close to water consider piling sandbags.
- Put away lawn furniture, planters, picnic tables, small boats or anything that could be swept away in a flood.
If your Home is Flooded:
- Turn basement furnace off and shut off outside gas valves.
- Turn off electrical power. If your main power box is not in a dry, safe location, do not attempt to turn it off. Contact Nova Scotia Power at 428-6004 or 1-877-428-6004.
- Do not stand or wade in water where contact has been made with electrical equipment.
- If drinking water is contaminated, purify by boiling, using purification tablets or chlorinate with a bleaching compound.
- Do not use well water for drinking, cooking or bathing until the water has been tested and determined to be safe. If you have questions about your water, you should contact your local environment office by calling 1-877-9ENVIRO.
Re-entering your Home:
- Do not return home until authorities have advised that it is safe to do so.
- If the main power switch was not turned off prior to flooding, do not re-enter your home until a qualified electrician has determined it is safe to do so.
- Appliances that may have been flooded pose a risk of shock or fire when turned on. Do not use any appliances, heating, pressure, or sewage system until electrical components have been thoroughly cleaned, dried, and inspected by a qualified electrician.
- The main electrical panel must also be cleaned, dried, and tested by a qualified electrician to ensure that it is safe.
- For more ideas and information on how to get ready for and cope with flooding visit Get Prepared.ca or download Floods - What to Do
- If you have a flood in your home, immediately contact your private insurance company to understand what they will and will not cover. Private companies that specialize in Disaster Restoration Services can help you respond to, and clean up from, a flood in your home.