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Flood safety: how to protect your home


Extreme weather is causing more water damage than ever. Protect your home and family before, during and after a flood.

Before flood season: Prevent

Plan ahead and complete some simple home maintenance to reduce your risk if a flood impacts your area:

  • Inventory your belongings using photos or video
  • Create an emergency plan with a designated meeting place
  • Pack a 72-hour emergency survival kit
  • Clean drains, eavestroughs, downspouts, catch basins and gutters
  • Check the grading and extend downspouts away from the foundation
  • Seal cracks on all walls
  • If you have a sump pump, make sure you have an automatic secondary backup
  • Don’t dispose of fats, oil, grease or other objects in your sinks or toilets

During a flood: Protect

If a flood is imminent, take the following steps as soon as it’s safe:

  • Shut off electrical, furnace, gas and water, and disconnect appliances if safe
  • Move to higher ground
  • Move valuables from the basement to upper floors
  • Raise large appliances up on wood or cement blocks. If items can’t be raised, consider anchoring them and protecting them with a floodwall or shield
  • Stay calm and listen for evacuation, boil-water or other advisories from authorities

After a flood: Persevere

Before you return home, ensure there’s safe drinking water, a working bathroom and sewer system, clearance from all utility providers, and the structure is safe – check for bucked walls, damaged floors, broken glass and debris.

Once home, take immediate steps to reduce and report any damage:

  • Remove pooled water and damaged materials
  • Look for signs of mould contamination within the first 24-48 hours
  • Clean, disinfect and dry every flood-contaminated room
  • Keep fans running
  • Take pictures or video of the damage
  • Report the damage to your insurance provider and local municipality
  • When cleared by your insurer, dispose of your flood-damaged items according to local regulations

Your home holds everyone and everything you love and value most. We can help you protect it. To learn about a Co-operators Group Auto* and Home insurance program, visit our website.

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