The Greater Toronto Area has survived another long, harsh winter. As temperatures FINALLY start to rise, we can all breathe deep, collective sigh of relief. However, as we uncover the barbeque, pack away our parkas and put the shovels in the garage, we may have to wait a little while longer to start celebrating. This year, the conditions are just right for a serious problem: flood.
When flood strikes
When the ground is still cold and hard and the heavy rains of spring start falling, there’s no chance for the soil to absorb the extra water. This year the problem is even worse. As the heavy snow we experienced this year starts to melt, the areas that have completely thawed are already saturated. Conditions are ripe for some serious flooding, even in areas that usually aren’t prone to it. With that in mind, it’s important to know what to do if there are warnings of impending flooding in the area.
First and foremost, stay calm – your family’s safety is the most important thing to take care of! A flood recovery specialist can do more than ever to rescue your home after a flood. However, if you do have time, these tips can help protect you, your family and your belongings:
- Get fresh water. If you can get to the store to buy it in bottles, great. Otherwise, fill as many containers as you can.
- Use the main switch to turn off the power. If the power goes out, this will protect your appliances and electronics from damage when it comes back on.
- If the power is out, assume there are downed power lines around. Avoid those downed power lines. In fact, if you can safely remain in your home, that’s the best place to be until power is restored.
- Move whatever valuable items you can to the second floor. If there isn’t a second floor, consider high shelves in kitchen cabinets as a temporary storage space for important papers.
- As little as six inches of flood water can make driving or walking anywhere a life-threatening hazard. If you feel like you can’t safely ride out a flood at home, make the decision to leave for higher ground before the waters start to rise.
Having a disaster kit handy at all times, leaves you with one less thing to worry about in an emergency. Your disaster kit should include a well-stocked first aid kit, a crank flashlight (if it’s one with a built-in radio, even better), hand sanitizer, and latex gloves. You should also make sure medications don’t run too low and you have a good supply of things like pet or baby food, if you need them. A few non-perishable food items for yourself won’t hurt either.
If you are already dealing with the effects of water damage after the spring thaw, help can be on the way quickly. Working with a professional flood recovery company will get your home back to normal as soon as possible.