Before a flood occurs
Your 72-hour emergency kit
- Assemble an emergency kit that includes enough water and food to meet your family’s needs for 72 hours.
- Here are seven essential items to pack in your emergency kit :
- Drinking water (six litres per person)
- Non-perishable food (enough to last three days)
- Manual can opener
- Battery-operated radio and replacement batteries
- Flashlight or head lamp; replacement batteries or crank lamp
- Lighter, matches and candles
- First-aid kit (antiseptics, pain relievers, bandages, sterile gauze compresses, scissors, etc.)
Keep abreast of floodwater levels
- Keep a watch on water levels and flows in the lakes and waterways near you.
- Stay up to date and get real-time information through the Municipality’s communications platforms, and be sure to notify Public Safety if you notice anything abnormal or concerning.
If a flood occurs…
Make sure your water is indeed still drinkable
- Assume that water from individual wells is undrinkable, even if it’s clear and odourless. Switch to an alternate source, like bottled water.
Be wary of electrical current
- If water is threatening to enter your home, cut off the power to protect yourself from electrocution and possible fires.
- If water has already entered your home, DO NOT cut off the power; instead, immediately call Hydro-Québec.
Check road conditions
- Don’t head out before confirming that roads are safe.
- Avoid walking or driving on flooded roads or streets.
- If water levels cause your engine to stall, leave your vehicle to avoid being ultimately swept away by the current.
Safely evacuate your residence
- Leave your residence if the authorities issue an evacuation order or if you sense that your safety is in peril.
- Bring the following items with you:
- 72-hour emergency kit
- Your family members’ medication and prescriptions, if applicable
- Personal identification documents for each occupant (health insurance card)
- Necessities for babies, toddlers and younger children (diapers, feeding bottles, toys)
- Necessities for anyone with special needs (respirators, wheelchairs)
- Pet necessities like food and a leash
- Be sure to lock your doors and windows before leaving.
- Leave a note in your mailbox specifying when you left and where you were heading.
- Comply with Public Safety directives and those of other authorities as to official gathering spots for dislocated residents; gather at those spots before going to a friend’s or a relative’s location. This allows authorities to account for your whereabouts and to offer services. Register with the staff on site and tell them where you plan to shelter so they can stay in touch with you and keep you up to date.
After a flood
Re-entering your home
- Only go back into your residence if authorities allow and your safety won’t be jeopardized.
- Go back during the day so you can more easily spot damage or danger.
- Consult the Québec government’s Public Safety and Emergencies website to see the precautions you need to take to shield yourself from health problems, infections and other risks linked to cleaning your house and property, eliminating mould and keeping or discarding food items.
- Take photos to document the damage caused.
- Notify your insurance company and your mortgage lender.
Check to see if your water is drinkable
- Assume that water from individual wells is undrinkable, even if it’s clear and odourless. Switch to an alternate source, like bottled water, until you have your well water tested.
- If you don’t have access to bottled water, you can drink water from your well provided you boil it for at least one minute beforehand.
Inspect your residence
- Check foundations and structural components to make sure there’s no water damage.
- Contact the Municipality if your lot has suffered major erosion because of the flood.
Have your heating and electrical equipment and appliances inspected
- To avoid damage or injury, call on authorized specialists to get your heating and electrical equipment checked before you start everything up again.
- Follow manufacturer instructions to the letter if you decide to use back-up heating and electrical units because of a power outage and damage to hydro facilities or equipment.
- Call on certified technicians to reopen propane and fuel-oil tanks and cylinders before putting them back into service.
- Also rely on qualified professionals to perform the repair work needed on your house or property.
- Régie du bâtiment du Québec: www.rbq.gouv.qc.ca
- Association québécoise du gaz nature: www.aqgn.ca
- Association québécoise du propane: www.propanequebec.com
Check your well and its equipment
- Ensure that the electric circuits and other equipment powering your well are in good working order.
- Then wait at least 10 days before cleaning (disinfecting) your well, following the instructions set out by the ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques.
- Make sure that the results of the two tests recommended by the MELCC meet the required standards before you resume drinking your well water.
See if you qualify for financial aid
- To check your eligibility for assistance, contact the Municipality.
Use stand-alone appliances cautiously
Safety first, always!
- Don’t make indoor use of barbecues and other cooking appliances designed for outdoor use.
- Follow instructions to the letter when using stand-alone heaters.
- When resorting to a generator, comply carefully with installation and operating instructions.
Beware the silent killer: carbon monoxide
- Make sure any stand-alone appliances are working properly. If they’re defective, they can produce carbon monoxide, a colourless and odourless gas that can prove fatal.
- Leave the premises if you come down with symptoms like headaches, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and dizziness.
- Once you do go outside, do NOT go back in—even for a moment—without authorization from the Fire Department.
- Protect yourself and your family with the help of a carbon-monoxide detector.
Check the contents of your freezer and refrigerator
- To avoid food poisoning, go through all the items in both your freezer and your refrigerator, making sure to discard those identified by the ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation.
Medication that hasn’t been kept cool
- Don’t take medication if you haven’t been able to keep it cool as recommended. Brin git back to the pharmacy for safe disposal.
Check for symptoms of hypothermia
- Contact Info-Santé at 8-1-1 for advice if you or a loved one have symptoms of hypothermia: shivering, numbness and cold in extremities, nausea/vomiting, exhaustion, dizziness, mumbling, confusion. Extra info here: https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/phys_agents/cold_cold.html.
- Call 9-1-1 if a medical emergency arises.