Flooding is a common, naturally occurring event in B.C. Although it can happen at any time of year, the most severe floods typically occur in the spring from the influences of heavy rain and snowmelt run-off. The resulting surge of water is usually between April and July and is known as "freshet".

Flood Preparedness

Flood waters move fast, so develop a household plan, put together your emergency kit and connect with your neighbours. Learn about the emergency response plan for your area.

If you face a threatening flood situation, park vehicles away from streams and waterways, move electrical appliances to upper floors and make sure to anchor fuel supplies. Listen to local officials if you are asked to evacuate.

Protect Your Home and Property

There are many things you can do to help protect your home and property. Take time to clean your gutters, maintain perimeter drains, clear storm drains of debris, ensure downspouts are away from your residence and complete some simple landscaping to manage run-off.

Check with an insurance agent on flood insurance for your home and business, and take a personal inventory of belongings.

Recognize the Danger Signs

Heavy snowmelt may contribute to landslides and dangerous debris in creeks and waterways. Be safe and don’t go down to watch the rushing water. If you notice trees beginning to lean or bend near your home, or cracks developing in the hillside, consult an engineer or contact local authorities.

If you live near a waterway, a change in water colour or rapid change in water level (especially a drop) could indicate a problem upstream. Call your local fire, police or public works department immediately if you suspect something out of the ordinary.


It takes two people about one hour to fill and place 100 sandbags, giving you a one-foot-by-20-foot wall. Make sure you have enough sand, burlap, plastic bags, shovels and time to prepare properly. Watch this Sandbagging Tips video for helpful instructions.

Sandbag Dike Tips

Learn how to achieve maximum strength and effectiveness in your sandbag dikes to protect residences from flood waters by watching this brief instructional video.


One Source, One Stop


B.C.'s central resource for emergency preparedness information.

Flood Preparedness

Flood Preparedness

The BC River Forecast Centre is responsible for issuing flood watches and warnings for rivers around the province. A watch means flooding is possible, a warning means flooding will occur.

Sandbagging How-to

Instructions on how to build a sandbag dyke to protect your property from flood waters.

After the Flood

Following a flood, it is important to restore your home as soon as possible so your health is protected and further damage to your house and its contents is prevented. Learn about flood recovery here.

Share Button