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Before A Flood:  A Flood Watch has been issued.

Ready your property and family for a potential flood event. Your emergency and evacuation plan should be up to date and you should have the plan and a list of all of the items you will need to gather in case evacuation is necessary. You should be proactive and move valuables and gather emergency supplies in advance of a flood warning. 

During A Flood:  A Flood Warning has been issued.

Historically a flood warning comes a day or so in advance of floodwaters affecting homes. When a flood warning is issued it is time to complete gathering items for your evacuation kit and be prepared to evacuate. Evacuate early if you have children, pets, or other special circumstances that make early evacuation necessary. This is the time, if possible, to continue to properly sandbag low lying areas. 

After A Flood:  Waterways have dropped to a safe level.

Returning to a damaged property can be both hazardous and heart-wrenching. Even when you are most prepared, damage can still be greater then you expected. Please use the utmost caution when water is still present; there are many hazards. Work with qualified and/or licensed professionals when dealing with these hazards. 

On-Going Flood Readiness: The months between potential flood events. 

Summer months are the perfect time to assess your property's flood risk and take action to keep water from damaging your property.


Are you Flood-prone?

  • Visit:

    • Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority and download the elevation map for your area

    • or, Geo Ottawa to see if you are in a flood-prone location. Click on the Layers Icon and check zoning and property parcels to see the current flood map and your property outline. 

  • Some sandy soiled, flood-prone areas are not on the flood map or adjacent to water but are still at risk of basement damage from high groundwater. If you are in the gold colour "Relief Overlay" of the Geo Ottawa Map and are not in a blue hatched "Flood Plain" you are likely at risk of ground water flooding.​

Disaster Plan Image.png


  • Compete our Family Disaster Plan & Evacuation Kit 
    and start to prepare items in the Evacuation Kit

  • Evacuation is often unnecessary. The Red Cross
    recommends that you keep an ​​
    Emergency Kit
    in your home with enough supplies to meet your
    family’s needs for at least 72 hours.

  • By taking the time now to store food, water and
    other supplies, you can provide for your entire
    family in the event of an



  • Call 311 or visit for up-to-date information from the city of Ottawa on flood conditions and preparation.

  • Follow our twitter and facebook pages for the latest information.

  • If possible download emergency apps such as the Red Cross’s BE READY APP

  • Follow local media.


  • Use our Insurance Check List to start the discussion with your insurance company about your  overland and sewage backup coverage. 

  • Go to to find more information regarding flood insurance.


  • Start to sandbag areas vulnerable to overland water

  • The City of Ottawa offers sandbags at limited locations

  • If there is a major flood event, sand, sandbags and
    supplies will be available at other locations​.



  • Move items of value and items that cannot be disinfected to upper levels of your home or raise off the floor, including:

    • carpets and rugs, wooden or fabric furniture, paper, electronic equipment and other items vulnerable to water or mould damage. 

    • Consider packing in your evacuation kit, items that are sensitive to moisture, such as computers with information that you do not want to lose. 

  • Items kept outside such as garden supplies, furniture and toys can float away. If these items are not affected by water, tie or anchor them to a permanent structure.

  • Outdoor cushions, BBQ's that cannot be easily disinfected or can be damaged (rust) by water should be moved indoors and/or to higher ground.

  • If necessary secure decks and other large movable items. These items can float off their supports during a flood event. With expert advice, you may be able to anchor an existing floating deck to the ground with hardware. example

* links are an example of one of many options and are meant to give you a starting point for research. Please consult with a qualified person to ensure that any solution found online will work for you. 



  • Continue to listen, or view, local media including social media for urgent messages.

  • Register here and with the Red Cross to receive email updates and access to continued support.


  • If water levels rise to the point that safe entry to your property or business will be compromised, it is time to evacuate.

  • Flash Flooding can occur. Leave while it is still safe.

  • Check your Evacuation List and bring your Evacuation Kit.

  • Turn off main power, gas and water.

  • Check on neighbours and leave a note informing others you have evacuated.


  • Electrocution Risk Is HIGH

    • Avoid fallen overhead lines and entering flooded buildings if you are unsure of the power situation, as the water may carry an electrical charge.

    • DO NOT connect a portable generator to your home electrical systems without a proper transfer switch. You can back-feed the systems and cause floodwater to be electrified!

  • Land and roads can become unstable when saturated.

  • Flood water can sweep away people and cars - do not wade or drive through water if you are unsure of the depth or if above 10 cm.




  • If evacuation is not necessary continue sandbagging your property as needed.

  • Due to the continued impact of Covid-19 volunteers may not be available in the same capacity as in past years. Call 311 or visit the City of Ottawa website for details as they will be your primary source of supplies and instructions if a major flood event occurs.



  • If groundwater is high do not empty your septic tank, tanks can float in water and emptying your tank can cause the tank to rise and connections to be damaged. 



  • Listen or watch local media including social media and the WCDR website for information on when it is safe to return.

  • Do not sleep in your home if there are hazards present.

  • Ensure the sump pump is in working order.


  • Flood Water carries with it various chemical and biological contaminants.

    • DO NOT DRINK WELL WATER until it has been tested.

      • Well water testing kits are available at these locations

  • Use proper protective equipment when entering floodwater or moving/cleaning flood-damaged materials.

  • Land and roads may have been weakened from water saturation:- use caution

  • Electrical & Gas - contact a licensed contractor if water reached any electrical or gas equipment before you turn on power or gas. For further information contact:

  • ​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


  • Do not use the sewage system until water in the soil absorption field is lower than the water level around the house.

  • Have your septic tank professionally inspected and serviced if you suspect damage. Signs of damage include settling or an inability to accept water. Most septic tanks are not damaged by flooding since they are below ground and completely covered. However, septic tanks and pump chambers can fill with silt and debris and must be professionally cleaned. If the soil absorption field is clogged with silt, a new system may have to be installed.

  • Only trained specialists should clean or repair septic tanks because tanks may contain dangerous gases.

  • More information - Ottawa Septic System Office


  • Ensure you quickly remove and dispose of all water-saturated, porous materials that cannot be easily cleaned or dried. Mould grows rapidly once water levels have dropped and can spread to other areas of your house. Water saturated items that will need to be disposed of include: drywall, carpeting and underpad, trim, laminate or wood flooring, some framing materials, mattresses, upholstered furniture as examples.

  • Use disinfectant specifically formulated for mould to clean hard surface materials. If possible bring items outside to fully dry.

  • Start to dehumidify the area as soon as possible.

  • DO NOT use fans without dehumidifiers. Fans will blow humid air and mould to other areas of the building



  • Your home may have suffered structural damage. It is important to contact a structural engineer if you notice, cracking walls, doors not closing properly, change in alignment of any part of your structure (e.g. sloping floor, leaning or bulging walls) or that your sump pump has pumped substantial amounts of sand.

  • Build Back Better. With any repair or rebuilding, you have an opportunity to build a more flood-resistant home, by incorporating best practices such as water-proof flooring, mould resistant framing and finishing materials and proper basement waterproofing.


  • Organizations are available to assist you after a flood

  • Register with the WCDR and Red Cross

  • Contact you insurance company and/or Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians

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