Be prepared for floods

Floods are common in B.C. and can happen at any time of year. The most severe floods usually occur in spring and early summer due to heavy rain and melting snow. This seasonal flooding is known as freshet. They can also be caused by storm surges, ice jams or damage to structures like dikes or dams.

In some areas of B.C., climate change and related extreme weather events have increased the flood risk. Rising temperatures, changing freeze-thaw cycles and rising sea levels can all contribute to flooding.

Floods can damage buildings, cause power outages, disrupt transportation and create landslides. Fast-moving flood waters can also be a hazard for people.

Stages of a flood

Depending on the type and severity of flooding, it could take weeks and potentially months for the water to recede. It’s important to take time to prepare and understand what to do before, during and after a major flood:

Before a flood

If you're in an area that is prone to flooding, or you just want to be proactive, there are a number of activities you can complete to prepare for a flood.

What to do before a flood

During a flood

You can stay safe during a flood by understanding flood advisories and warnings, evacuation stages, and actions you can take to protect yourself.

What to do during a flood

After a flood

Returning home after a flood can be overwhelming, but if you use caution and take things one step at a time, it is possible to recover and return your home to normal.

What to do after a flood

Social media resources

To help prepare and respond to spring flooding, we have created an easy-to-use social media package with graphics and pre-written content. 

Flood ready social media package

Flood preparedness guide (PDF)

If you live somewhere that could experience a flood, our Flood Preparedness Guide is a must-read! It will help you prepare and know what to do when one occurs, and you can download it as a PDF to read offline.

For more information or inquiries about this guide, please contact us at

Flood preparedness guide (PDF, 4.7MB)