Protect Your Home or Business from Flooding
With a sharp increase in the frequency of sudden heavy rainfall and flooding events in recent years, Ontario is reminding residents to take steps to help protect their homes from damage caused by overland flooding.
The best way to prepare for extreme weather events is by ensuring that you have the right protections in place. Some ways to minimize the risk of flooding include:
- Installing a backflow prevention valve
- Fixing cracks in the basement
- Making sure downspouts are directed away from the home
- Disconnecting foundation drains from the sewer system and installing a sump pump
- Fixing the grading around the property so that the ground slopes away from the home.
Appropriate insurance coverage can also help protect you from financial losses if you experience flood damage. Insurance companies offer different types and levels of coverage and assess the risks of each property individually.
Ontario is experiencing more extreme weather events due to climate change. The government is taking action to better protect our environment and help residents adapt to a changing climate through the Climate Change Action Plan, and recently redesigned its disaster recovery programs to better help affected residents, businesses and communities to get back on their feet after natural disasters, such as flooding.
Between 2011 and 2016, the province activated its disaster recovery programs in 56 municipalities and provided over $40 million in provincial assistance. Last year alone, Ontario set aside up to $12.5 million to provide disaster assistance to individuals, businesses and
municipalities across 37 communities that were affected by flooding.
Through the Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians (DRAO) program, Ontario provides financial assistance to eligible residents, farms, small business owners and not-for-profit organizations. The program focuses on essentials – such as helping with cleanup costs and
replacing necessary items like furnaces and basic appliances. The program does not cover full replacement costs or provide assistance for costs covered by insurance.
Helping individuals and communities recover after natural disasters is part of the government’s plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
“We all have a role to play when it comes to mitigating the effects of climate change and responding to more frequent natural disasters. The heavy rainfall and flooding that occurred in 2017 was record-breaking and unprecedented. I want to thank and acknowledge the extraordinary efforts of emergency workers, municipal leaders, volunteers and residents across the province who were impacted by disasters in their local communities. Spring is here – it is important to prepare for the possibility of flooding.” — Bill Mauro, Minister of Municipal Affairs
- The Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians (DRAO) program has committed up to $8.7 million to eligible individuals, small businesses, farmers and not-for-profit organizations affected by flooding in 2017.
- Last year, Ontario activated the DRAO program in municipalities including the areas of Windsor and Essex County, Renfrew County, Midwestern Ontario and in communities along the Ottawa River.
- Many municipalities – including the City of Toronto, the City of Windsor and the City of Ottawa – offer subsidies for homeowners to reduce the risk of flooding. Contact your municipality to find out about local flood prevention programs.