PROTECT YOUR PROPERTY
Fortunately, there are steps that every property owner can take to limit their risk exposure to overland flooding and minimize clean-up costs in the event of a flood — including many no-cost or low-cost measures (see below). There are also countless resources available to stay informed and proactively monitor your risk, including:
Flood Watch: The Saskatchewan Water Security Agency has created an online resource to help residents keep informed on rising water levels and help prepare for the possibility of flooding.
Floods – What to Do: This PDF was produced by Public Safety Canada in collaboration with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Canadian Red Cross, Natural Resources Canada, and St. John Ambulance.
Preparing for a Flood: This booklet from the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health provides easy-to-understand information for homeowners and farmers to prepare for a potential flood.
Cleaning Up After a Flood: Produced by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health, this PDF is a comprehensive guide to help you determine next steps after you suffer a flood.
Saskatchewan residents should also download the SaskAlert app to keep apprised of imminent threats to public safety, including flooding. This service is administered by the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency (SPSA), which has additional information on emergency preparedness at home. Click here to visit the SPSA website.
Important flood information and resources
Flood Insurance Fundamentals: This helpful infographic explains the main types of flood insurance policies in Canada.
Flood Recovery Guide: This step-by-step guide details what to do when you return to your house after a flood.
Flood Event Checklist: General information for navigating recovery, such as how to keep documents together and organized, who to hire and not hire, who should be notified of the flooding, reminders of what to consider, and tips for navigating potential flood insurance claims.
Renter in a Flood Event: If you live in a rented apartment, condo, or house, your landlord's insurance policy will generally only cover the physical building and the landlord's interest — not that of the tenant.
The following measures don't cost you a penny.
Test your sump pump regularly
Inspect and test your sump pump 2 – 4 times per year, including once in the fall prior to the ground freezing and again early in the spring. This should be accompanied by cleaning out your backwater valve.
Clean out eavestroughs
Clean out your gutters each spring and again in the fall after trees begin shedding leaves. This allows water to run off your roof consistently and will protect it from moisture buildup that can cause rot and water damage.
Clear drains and snow
Remove any household items from floor drains and clear debris from nearby storm drains, ditches, and culverts that may impede water flow. You should also shovel snow away from your foundation prior to it melting.
Enhance your protection for a couple hundred bucks or less.
Install window well covers
Window well covers prevent rain or snow from becoming trapped in window wells, which can cause water to damage basement walls and floors. Depending on the material and manufacturer, these covers only cost $20 – $100 each.
Extend spouts and discharge
Downspouts and sump pump discharge pipes or hoses should extend at least two metres (6.5 feet) away from the foundation of your home or building. Extension components can be purchased at any home supply store.
Purchase flood alarms
Electronic flood sensors can be purchased as standalone products or as part of an integrated home security monitoring system. These devices alert you if moisture is detected in vulnerable areas of your home or business.
Remember your belongings!
When thinking about flood protection, it's important not to forget the simple steps you can take to safeguard valuable items and hazardous materials. Use watertight storage containers and secure fuel tanks, and keep them elevated at least 30 centimetres (12 inches) off the floor or ground.
These steps are not necessarily the cheapest, but they're impactful.
Check sidewalks, patios, decks, and driveways to make sure they haven’t settled over time and are causing water to drain toward your house. Consider landscaping with native plants and vegetation that resist soil erosion.
Install a backwater valve
When a heavy rainstorm flushes debris into mainline storm sewers and sanitary sewers, sewers can backup into homes and businesses. A backwater valve automatically closes if sewage backs up from the main sewer.
Add a sump pump battery
Sump pumps require electricity to operate in normal conditions. But what about during a power outage? Battery backup units are a critical line of defence in protecting property during intense weather.