New Brunswick

Here are 3 ways to stay safe in a flood

The province is warning that flooding this year could be as bad as the historic 2018 freshet. Here are three ways to stay safe if New Brunswick surpasses record flood levels again. 

Will you be prepared if the river spills its banks?

There are a few simple precautions you can take to stay safe during a flood. (Alex Vietinghoff/CBC)

The province is warning that flooding this year could be as bad as the historic 2018 freshet. Here are three ways to stay safe if New Brunswick surpasses record flood levels again.

EMO's Geoffrey Downey lists what a 72-hour flood kit should contain and why. 0:47

1. Make a 72-hour emergency preparedness kit

The New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization recommends you create an emergency kit to last you 72 hours in the event of a flood. Your 72-hour preparedness kit should include:

  • At least two litres of water per day for every person in your household
  • Non-perishable items, like canned food, granola bars, energy bars. If you have canned food in your kit, you should also have a can opener.
  • First aid kit.
  • Candles.
  • Matches.
  • Money (in case there's a power outage and the ATMs are down).
  • Battery-powered or hand-cranked flashlight.
  • Battery-powered or hand-cranked radio.
  • Emergency contact numbers written on a piece of paper. 
  • Prescription medication.
  • Diapers and formula, if you have a baby.
  • A spare supply of pet food, if you have a pet.
The New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization recommends adding a battery powered or hand-cranked flashlight to your 72-hour emergency preparedness kit. (Maria Jose Burgos/CBC)

2. Protect your home 

If your house is in a flood zone, you should invest in sandbags to block water from seeping in. The Government of New Brunswick website has a list of where you can pick up sand and sandbags.

But if water does invade your home, you should document any damage by taking video and photos in case your insurance provider asks for evidence of water damage. You should unplug electrical appliances if you think flooding will severely impact your home.

Make sure you know where the exits are in your home and create an evacuation plan. If you have to leave your home, you should be aware of any road closures that might affect your travel route to a safer, flood-free zone. 

You should also check on your neighbours by calling them or sending them a text to make sure they're safe, especially elderly neighbours who may need help leaving.

3. Stay up to date

Stay up to date with the latest information as you watch the flood levels rise (with a bag of storm chips in hand, of course). There are several websites you can visit to find the latest updates on water levels and weather watches and warnings:

How high will the St. John River rise this spring, and does the Mactaquac Dam have anything to do with it? A New Brunswick flood, explained. 1:26

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