Know the Risks

Flooding is the most common natural disaster in Canada, affecting thousands of Canadians every year. Learn why you need to stay prepared, no matter where you live.

What is flooding?

There are different types of flooding, but, generally speaking, a flood is an overflow of water on normally dry ground. Floods can occur in any region of Canada, at any time. Most flooding occurs when the volume of water in a river or stream is more than the channel can hold. Lake and coastal shorelines can also flood when water levels are higher than normal.

Overland flooding is a common type of flooding where water flows over land and seeps into buildings through windows, doors, and cracks. It's one of the most frequent and costly natural hazards in Canada, affecting hundreds of thousands of Canadians and causing millions of dollars in damages every year.

Heavy rainfall can also lead to flooding. This is especially common in the spring, when the ground is still frozen or already saturated from previous storms. Rapid melting of snow and ice jams can cause floods, too. Flash—or sudden—flooding, in which warning time is extremely limited, can result from other causes such as hurricanes or the failure of dams.

Be Flood Ready!

Being Flood Ready can save lives, property and money. Here are a few reasons you should prepare for overland flooding:

  1. Residential overland flooding is not typically covered by standard property insurance. Talk to your insurer about the types of water damage that are covered by your policy.
  2. If water got into your property during a previous flood, it could happen again if you don't take action.
  3. Many Canadians use finished basements as extra living space, often filled with furniture and expensive electronics that could be damaged by a flood.
  4. Floods can cause mould to grow, and this can have long-term health impacts on your family.
  5. Homes in older neighbourhoods are usually more vulnerable to overland flooding, but newer homes can also be at risk, especially if they're built near flood-prone areas like ravines.
  6. Changes in weather is expected to continue to impact the amount and distribution of rain, snow, and ice and the risk of extreme weather events such as heavy rainfalls and related flooding.

How flooding can impact you

The risk of floods

Flooding is more common than you think. Discover how floods could impact you.

The cost of floods

Flood prevention can save you tens of thousands of dollars in repairs.

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