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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. Find out more about  water damage prevention and see what we’re doing to  encourage flood safety, distraction-free driving and mental health to help build a better world. 

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