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Newsletter April 2019

NO STRANGER TO FLOODING

The Town of Drumheller can tell tales of changing climate and flooding since the ice age. Flooding from ice jams oten occurs in April and rain on snowmelt typically occurs the third week of June. While we will always face these seasonal floods, we are now able to realize a viable solution to mitigate the risk and
strategically manage the floods. We are busy working on our short and long-term flood mitigation and climate adaptation plan to make room for the river to protect our town, our homes, our families and the priceless dinosaur fossils in our valley from the next big flood.

FROM EXTINCTION TO ADAPTATION

We earned our place in history as the ‘Dinosaur Capital of the World’ with the prehistoric giants that roamed these lands for millions of years. It is well
known that dinosaurs became extinct because of catastrophic changing climate and ancestors had to adapt. The extinct dinosaurs left behind pockets of fossil fuel in the form of coal in our valley and for years miners lived off that coal. Then significant floods occurred in 1915 and 1948 and once again we had to adapt. We are continuously adapting, so much so that our ancestors would not believe that we now grow corn in Drumheller.

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WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER!

As the saying goes, ‘it takes a village’, and we are rallying together to change the channel of flood preparedness. As we are witnessing with our eastern provinces this week who are battling floods, homeowners are doing their part to prepare. Part of that plan is having a 72-hour safety kit ready should the community need to evacuate, as well as implement temporary flood measures to manage the risk and damage to the property should flooding occur. We are repeating the tips we shared in March to make sure that it is top of mind for all residents as we approach this flood season.

WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER!

Many of us are strong, able-bodied and capable of taking care of our family and our property, but we need to think about vulnerable members of the community and make sure that we discuss their plan to be safe and to secure their property. This means talking to grandparents, elderly friends, people with special needs, kids and making sure that everyone is ready for a flood with a plan. If your plan is in place, think about trying to lend a hand. It’s as easy as hosting a block party and reviewing plans together and to develop a support network to check in and assist each other during an emergency. Don’t forget about our furry, feathered and scaled friends, as we all need a plan for the safety of pets in our community.

TEMPORARY FLOOD MEASURES

Waterproof your basement and prevent sewer back up

  • Know where your floor drains, back-flow prevention and clean-out sewer lines are located
  • Install a back-flow prevention device on your sewer pipe
  • Check your sump pump periodically to make sure it is operating as it should
  • Plug toilets, sinks, sewer standpipes and drains with rags or caps where possible during a flood

Eavestroughs and downspouts

  • Eavestroughs and extensions should drain away from the home and its foundation at least 1.5 metres away and soak onto landscaped areas vs concrete areas and away from your neighbours’ homes
  • Do not connect extensions to sanitary sewer lines or weeping tiles
  • Ensure that leaves and debris are cleared from gutiers to prevent rainwater accumulation

Sandbagging

  • Have sand bags, sand, burlap and plastic bags, rags, shovels stored on hand
  • Know how many sandbags you will need and who will help install them when flooding occurs

GETTING PREPARED FOR A FLOOD

Preparing your household
• Plan and practice your family emergency preparedness plan
• Prepare a ‘go bag’ with emergency supplies for 72 hours

Preparing kids and youth
• Get kids to pack their own 72-hour emergency ‘go bag’
• Pack a few games, favourite stuffed animal in their 72-hour bag

Preparing your home, condo or apartment
• Assign floor 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 entire facility is evacuated
• Know who to call if utilities need to be shut off

Preparing your pets
• Emergency kits should include pet photos, food, leash, collar and carrier
• Have a care plan and temporary residence in place for your pet’s safekeeping

Preparing farm animals
• Have an emergency plan in place to evacuate your animals and an emergency kit ready to go
• Read the Alberta Emergency Preparedness for Farm Animals guide at
www.aema.alberta.ca

Preparing your business
• Create an emergency preparedness and business continuity plan and practice it with employees
• Think about how to protect critical assets and documents during a disaster

Preparing your neighbourhood
• Discuss a plan with neighbours to check everyone’s safety during a flood
• Don’t forget to talk to elderly neighbours, people living alone or with a disability about
their plans and offer to assist

Preparing seniors
• Have a trusted support network of 2-3 people to check in and assist in an emergency
• Emergency kits for seniors should have extra medication, medical and mobility devices

Preparing people with disabilities
• Have a trusted support network of 2-3 people to check in and assist in an emergency
• Emergency kits should include all special needs items and those needs should be clearly outlined (difficulty hearing, dietary restrictions etc.)

72 HOUR EMERGENCY KIT CHECKLIST

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, including the following:

Basic supplies

  • First aid kit
  • Water (4 litres per person/per day for drinking and hygiene)
  • Non-perishable food items that are canned or dried (ready to eat)
  • Can opener
  • Multi-purpose tool (swiss army knife & lighter)
  • Flashlights & extra batteries
  • Essential electronics – phones & chargers
  • Hand-crank radio
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Garbage bags & ties
  • Moist towelettes

Basic supplies

  • Passports
  • Birth & marriage certificates
  • Insurance policies
  • Diplomas & educational records
  • Household inventory list
  • Wills & power of attorney
  • Bank account/credit lines/credit card numbers & contacts
  • Emergency contact information
  • Social insurance number
  • Driver’s licence & medical card numbers
  • Immunization & medical records
  • Financial information (income tax returns, etc.)

Basic supplies

  • Prescription medication
  • Medical equipment and devices (walkers, etc.)
  • Eyeglasses & hearing aids
  • Vitamins
  • Cash (preferably smaller bills)
  • Blankets & sleeping bags
  • Warm clothing and change of clothes (more socks & undergarments)
  • Footwear
  • Essential hygiene items (soap, shampoo, etc.)
  • If you don’t have a cell phone, have a pre-paid phone card ready
  • Infant formula, diapers for babies
  • Pet registration, info & photos
  • Pet food, spare leash, collar & carrier

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