Flooding: What you need to know and how to prepare

Flooding is the most common natural disaster in Canada and, according to the Government of Canada, the severity of floods is increasing. Floods can happen anywhere in Canada, at any time of year, and to anyone. No matter where you live, it’s important to take simple steps to protect your home and property against potential flood damage. It’s important to be prepared to minimize the potential damage, know what to do in case of an emergency, and know what help is available if your home, business, or automobile is damaged.

Some steps you can take to prepare for a flood:

  • Prepare an emergency plan for your family and ensure everyone in your family knows the plan. Learn your evacuation routes and practice with your family, including pets, to stay prepared.


  • Assemble an emergency preparedness kit. This kit should include water, non-perishable food, radio, flashlight, first aid kit and more. See a full list of items recommended by the Red Cross here.


  • Protect your home by protecting water vulnerable areas, such as basements, windows, roofs and gutters. Weather seal your windows, install flood barriers around your basement windows and extend gutters to remove water further away from your house.


  • Keep yourself updated on the weather and watch for flood warnings, including evacuation alerts and evacuation orders. Listen to radio or TV for the latest weather updates in your area.

Know what your insurance covers

It’s important to always read your insurance policies, so you know what coverage you have before you need it. Many disputes arise because consumers believe their insurance policy covers something when it does not.

If you’re unsure if your insurance policy covers damage related to flooding, you can contact your insurer to have them confirm.

What to do if you suffered damage from a flood

Start a claim by contacting your insurance company. Make sure you include as much detail as possible about the damage.

If your insurance company is a GIO member, you can find out how to submit a claim or contact them in our member directory

What to do if you are unhappy the results of your claim

If you’re unhappy with the results of your insurance claim or have questions about the process, GIO is here to help. We offer free, independent and impartial help with your home, auto and business insurance disputes. Find out how to submit a complaint.  

Additional resources to help you prepare:

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