Red Cross volunteers will be knocking on your doors from March 30 to learn what locals are doing to reduce their flood risk, and provide a local flood protection plan and share flood protection tips.
Squamish is one among three Canadian communities chosen for this new door-to-door pilot program that aims to boost flood risk awareness and emergency preparedness at the household level.
The volunteers will go door-to-door between March 30 and April 17, 2019 to speak with residents about being prepared for a possible flood.
Squamish was chosen for the pilot because of the local flood risk, having been last affected by severe floods in 2003.
Most Squamish flooding events have occurred between October and December when warm temperatures melt higher elevation snowpack, contributing to higher than normal water levels from rain alone.
Volunteers will hand out District of Squamish tools and resources including a pocket guide to Community Evacuation Preparedness, and information on signing up for Squamish Alert, the District’s free emergency notification service.
Some of the tips that offer include:
Clearing debris from the nearest storm drain that may be blocking the drainage of water
Storing valuables in watertight containers and moving them off the basement floor.
Cleaning out the home’s eavestroughs twice per year and extending downspouts to direct water a minimum of 2m away from the foundation.
Testing the sump pump twice per year and installing a backup sump pump and battery.
The program is developed in partnership with Canadian Red Cross, Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation and University of Waterloo.
Between 1918 and 2018, there were 302 major flood events in Canada, accounting for over a third (37 per cent) of all-natural disasters occurring in the country during that time (Public Safety Canada, 2018).
Most homeowners, however, are unaware of the risk. On average, only six percent of Canadians are aware of the flood risks in their area (University of Waterloo, 2017).