by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs

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. Many municipalities offer subsidies for homeowners to reduce the risk of flooding. Contact your municipality to find out about local flood prevention programs.

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