Heavy Rainfall Is Well Known in the Lower Mainland
We experience our fair share of rainfall here in coastal BC. can occur when water is unable to drain away, river levels may rise quickly and become dangerously fast, roads may become impassible, and combined with warm temperatures, melting snowpack can develop into landslides and debris flows on mountain sides and steep gullies. Review our Flood Safety Checklist (PDF).
How to Prepare
- Review Before an Emergency for general information on how to prepare.
- Prepare your family plan and your property.
- Have a plan and practice it with your family.
- Check local forecasts and consider the conditions, especially if you are planning to enjoy the trails and river systems.
- Check with an insurance agent on your home insurance, and take a personal inventory of belongings.
- Be aware of streams, drainage channels and areas known to flood suddenly.
- Know more about how to prepare for flooding.
During Heavy Rain
- Be aware of flash floods. If there is any possibility of a flash flood occurring, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.
- Listen to radio or television stations for local information.
- If local authorities issue a flood watch, prepare to evacuate.
- Secure your home. If you have time, bring outdoor garden equipment and lawn furniture inside or tie it down. Move essential items to the upper floors of your house.
- Do Not stack sandbags against the outside walls of your house. Water suddenly seeping downward can create pressure, causing your basement to “float” out of the ground.
- If instructed, turn off utilities at the main switches or valves. Disconnect electrical appliances, but, do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
- Fill your car with fuel.
- Fill the bathtub with water in case water becomes contaminated or services cut off. Sterilize the bathtub first.
- Stay away from flood waters. They could be contaminated and have swift currents.
- Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet. If you must walk in a flooded area, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
- Do not drive into flooded areas. If flood waters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground, if you can do so safely. You and your vehicle can be quickly swept away as flood waters rise.
After Heavy Rain
- Check your property for damage and clear away debris from rain gutters and storm drains.
- Even though the rain has stopped, waterways may still pose a risk. Be cautious until you are certain of the conditions.
It takes two people about one hour to fill and place 100 sandbags, giving you a one-foot-by-20-foot wall. Make sure you have enough sand, burlap, plastic bags, shovels and time to prepare properly. Watch this Sandbagging Tips video for helpful instructions. Download our How-To Sandbag (PDF).