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.
Download/print a PDF infographic of this page.