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Emergency Preparedness Guide

Preparation techniques to ensure you, your family, and your property are safe.

For more information please see our Frequently Asked Questions section or contact us at floodreadiness@drumheller.ca 

Prepare a 72 Hour Emergency Kit

Planning ahead and preparing for a flood means having a 72-hour emergency kit with basic supplies, personal items, and important documents ready to go at a moment’s notice.

Download the Emergency Checklist

Important Tips to Follow

  • Exercise caution around riverbanks as the fast-moving water can cause erosion and destabilization of riverbanks
  • Warn children about the dangers of fast-moving water, particularly those residents who live near the river
  • Cyclists and pedestrians should watch for low-lying areas where the river can submerge the pathways
  • Please be aware and adjust your travel to allow time to react and respect any closures
  • Contact 311 if you see any flooding concerns and contact 911 if life safety is a concern
  • Keep pets away from fast-moving water
  • Remove lawn furniture and other portable items off the riverbank

Government Of Canada Emergency Preparedness Guide

Click HERE for the guide.

Prepare Your Household

Know the 6Ps of Preparation: people, prescriptions, personal needs, papers, priceless items, pets

  • Plan and practice your family emergency preparedness plan
  • Every member of the family should prepare a ‘go bag’ with emergency supplies for 72 hours
  • Emergency kits should be easy to find or close to the door
  • Make copies of your most important documents and store them in watertight bags or off-site
  • Establish a plan on how to communicate with friends, family, neighbours during a flood
  • Have an out of town contact to connect you with family and friends should local lines be congested in an emergency
  • Keep important numbers in your wallet or have a list handy, not just on your phone
  • Have a meetup place for your family to meet after a flooding emergency
  • Consider creating a closed social media group just for emergencies
  • Store treasured photos, family videos, important mementos, financial records in a safe place or higher level in the house
  • Save documents electronically or on a backup drive or portable thumb drive in advance
  • Have a plan to move lighter weight valuable electronic equipment like TVs, computers, laptops to higher levels and away from windows when a flood happens
  • Prepare your home with sandbagging and temporary flood measures to reduce your risk 

Prepare Your Home, Condo, or Apartment

  • ​Assign flood wardens at your facility if you live in a condo or apartment
  • Have a list of residents and know your muster point in the event the entire facility is evacuated
  • Check your insurance policy to see if it covers flooding with overland flood insurance – many policies do not cover high-risk areas
  • Make a list of your household inventory and belongings to be ready for future insurance claims (take pictures or make a video of each room)
  • For homes along the shoreline, think about temporary flood measures like sandbagging
  • Have large signs on hand to put in your window during an emergency (Green with the word ‘Ok!’, Red with the word ‘Help!’)
  • Make a list of things to do immediately if you need to evacuate (shutting off gas appliances, water tank, electricity etc.)
  • Have a backup power outage source like a generator on hand
  • Know who to call or what to do if utilities need to be shut off

Prepare Kids and Youth

  • ​Talk to your kids candidly about disasters like flooding and its impacts, like the risk of injury and death so that everyone takes the discussion seriously
  • Get kids to pack and store their own 72-hour ‘go bag’ so that they are part of the process
  • Assign roles for kids when disaster hit (older kids can help with sandbagging for example)
  • Make sure everyone understands flash flood responses, evacuation plans and shelter plans
  • Learn and practice first aid skills with your kids (first aid, how to use a defibrillator, CPR)

Prepare Your Pets

For those with pets, emergency kits should include:

  • Have an emergency and care plan in place for your pet should an emergency occur
  • Identify a temporary residence for your pet for safekeeping in the event of an emergency
  • Have photos of your pets handy to make sure you can seek help in finding them post-flood if they are missing
  • Have pet food, a leash and collar and a familiar carrier ready to go as part of the 72-hour emergency kit
  • Have copies of vaccinations as part of the important documents to store or save

Prepare Your Business

  • ​Have an emergency preparedness and communications plan ready
  • Create a business continuity plan for evacuation scenarios
  • Think about how to protect critical assets during a disaster
  • Have HR policies in place: 
    • Employee alerts/early release/working remotely/payroll and insurance policies
  • Provide first aid training to employees and have first aid kits readily available
  • Save or store all important documents (off-site or on higher ground)
  • Assign one or more points of contact responsible for employee counts in case of evacuation
  • Assign a point of contact to communicate with first responders
  • Larger businesses should assign floor or facility wardens to get people out and meet at a planned muster point to ensure everyone’s safety
  • Test your emergency employee and customer notification plans (emails, text alerts) – start all notification tests with “THIS IS A TEST” to avoid confusion
  • Have a plan to work in an alternate location in case of evacuation
  • Make sure employees are aware of their respective roles during a flood
  • Have an accessibility plan for employees with disabilities or special needs
  • Consider having a manual for every employee to review the plans and procedures
  • Host an annual tabletop exercise with management and employees to review and practice the plans, process, roles and procedures
  • Use social media platforms like business websites, Twitter, and Facebook to communicate with employees, customers and members

Prepare Your Neighbourhood

  • ​Discuss your plans with friends and neighbours to ensure everyone’s safety during a flood
  • Have a plan to check in on elderly neighbours, people living alone or with a disability and offer to assist or be part of their plan
  • Consider creating a closed social media group in case of emergency to communicate with the immediate community

Prepare People With Disabilities

​People with disabilities have unique challenges during emergencies, and they have to consider things such as:

  • Difficulties with communication
  • Surroundings looking unfamiliar
  • Stress and confusion can occur with visual or hearing impairments 
  • Guide animals can go missing
  • Trusted support networks of 2-3 helpers or caregivers can check-in and assist in an emergency
  • Make sure that they have spare keys and know the emergency response plan
  • Emergency kits should include all special needs items and written documentation to assist helpers
  • Emergency kits for people with disabilities should have extra medication (2-week supply), dosages, prescription information, medical and mobility devices and equipment (walkers, canes etc.)
  • Have a whistle or personal alarm on hand to seek help
  • Support helpers should know where the emergency kit is located and, if a service dog is needed, have a plan to evacuate the animal where possible

Prepare Seniors

  • Have a trusted support network of 2-3 helpers to check-in and assist in an emergency
  • Helpers should know the response plan, have spare keys and know the location of the emergency kit
  • Caregiving needs should be clearly outlined on paper and shared with the support network
  • Emergency kits for seniors should have extra medication (2-week supply), dosages, prescription information, medical and mobility devices and equipment (walkers, canes, eyeglasses, hearing aids and batteries, spare footwear and orthotics etc.)
  • All special needs and medication should be clearly written and accessible to helpers should communication be hindered in any way
  • Always have a whistle or personal alarm close to seek help
  • Mobility devices and equipment should be by the door where possible should a rapid exit be required

How to Prepare for Ground Seepage

  • A high-quality crushed gravel base layer below the basement slab (i.e., a minimum building code requirement)
  • Damp-proofing of exterior basement wall surface prior to backfilling
  • Perimeter weeping tile tied into an interior collection sump with positive drainage/discharge away from the site
  • Add lateral drains connected into the collection sump for a site where seasonal groundwater might rise to within 1 m of the basement floor  
  • Upgrade damp-proofing to waterproofing
  • Add water stops between footings, basement walls and floor slabs
  • Add a free-draining gravel drainage mat across the basement area tied into 1 or 2 collection sumps
  • Add a water-proof membrane with the drainage mat