Returning Home After a Flood

With the significantly improved situation, some community members who were evacuated due to the recent flooding may be able to head back home. This is great news, however, we understand that it may also be a little overwhelming. We are advising everyone to use caution when returning home and to take it one step at a time. Here are some tips from the Provincial website:

Consider creating a cleanup and recovery plan. Just like having an emergency plan, it will help you organize what needs to be done to return your home to normal.

Tips for returning home:

  • Do not return home until authorities say it is safe to do so and they have cleared your home of any structural, electrical or other hazards
  • Stay out of any buildings if floodwaters remain around or in the building
  • Do not enter if you see any buckled walls or floors
  • Check for any damage to electrical or gas equipment that may have been caused by floodwater. Don’t turn anything back on until the equipment has been inspected by a licensed gas or electrical contractor. Find one using Technical Safety BC’s find a licensed contractor tool
  • If water needs to be drained, do so slowly addressing about 1/3 of the water per day. This ensures the structure of your home won’t buckle
  • Do not heat your home above the temperature outside until all water has been removed.

To learn more about returning home, managing mould & health risks, and how to best clean your home please visit: Recovering after a flood – Province of British Columbia (

TIP: Before you start your cleanup activities, call your insurance representative or company. Most insurers have a 24-hour claims service. Be as detailed as possible when providing information.

List all damaged or destroyed items. Take photos of the damage. Keep all receipts related to clean up and living expenses if you’ve been displaced. Ask your insurance representative about what expenses you may be entitled to and for how long. If you do not know the name of your insurer or your insurance representative, contact Insurance Bureau of Canada’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ASK-IBC.

Other important updates: 

The province continues to respond to catastrophic damage to major routes between the Lower Mainland through to Hope and the remainder of the province. 

Fuel and travel restrictions remain in place under the Emergency Program Act (EPA). Learn more here: Travel and fuel restrictions – Province of British Columbia (

Ministry of Transportation (MOTI) advises the Coquihalla (Hwy 5 and Hwy 8) will take months to repair. 

Evacuees: Get $2000 from the Canadian Red Cross

You’re eligible if your primary residence was placed on evacuation order due to the flooding and extreme weather event.

Register online or call 1-800-863-6582 seven days a week, 8 am to 8 pm (PDT)

Canadian Red Cross is providing in person registration services in Abbotsford, Kamloops, Duncan, Princeton, Merritt and Chilliwack.

For other supports from the Province, example: businesses, property damage, utilities, lost personal documents, etc., please check out: B.C.’s response to floods and mudslides – Province of British Columbia (

Stay safe, everyone.