“Every once in awhile, Mother Nature decides to show us who is really in charge” Aislin cartoon from May 8, Montreal Gazette.

The cartoon, pictured two elderly gentlemen sitting on a park bench with water flooding up to their needs, basically says it all.  Our water cooler conversations have gone from potholes, Trump and the latest movie to flooded basements, closed bridges, and knowing someone who has been evacuated.

The spring flooding that is happening in Quebec now is some of the more serious that we have seen  in a long time and some of the closest. A state of emergency is now in effect. Our neighbours to the west and north of the city are suffering from possible extreme loss, not to mention both financial and material.

Although much may be out of our control, there are some tips that anyone can use in the event of an emergency like this in order to prevent more damage, loss, and stress. Much of the following information is from the Urgence Québec website. http://www.urgencequebec.gouv.qc.ca/En/situation-urgence/Pages/Inondation.aspx. *. If your area is under a flood warning, stay alert and contact your borough or city for the latest news.  There is a website that monitors the level of water by area at  http://geoegl.msp.gouv.qc.ca/adnv2/.  The information is in French only, but is colour coded to (yellow, orange, red) show level of risk.

*Move your valuables up off the basement level, and remove any pesticides, insecticides and/or other chemicals.

*Block sewers in basement to prevent overflow and plug the floor drain to reduce the amount of water that may come up through drainpipe.

*Are you insured for flooding?  Now is the time to ask BEFORE flooding occurs.

*Cut the power to your home, unless water has already started coming in.  If that is the case, call Hydro-Québec at 1-800-790-2424.

*If authorities tell you to evacuate, it is best that you do. We believe that your personal security is more important than your “stuff”.  Let someone know where you are going, whether to a shelter or a friend’s home.

*The Quebec Bar Association has put together a legal-information kit for flood victim. You can also call the Info-Barreau hotline (1 844 954-3411) for more information.

3-1-1 will give you information on Municipal news, 5-1-1 for traffic and road closures, 8-1-1 for health information and 9-1-1 for emergency services such as fire, police, ambulance etc.

If you have been victimized by this round of flooding, you may be eligible for compensation.  http://www.securitepublique.gouv.qc.ca/en/civil-protection/financial-disaster-victims.html will have more information for you.

I believe there are municipalities who are or will be looking for volunteers with a large array of tasks needed, and of course, the Red Cross is seeking donations for vicitms.  http://www.redcross.ca/blog/2017/5/red-cross-volunteers-helping-those-affected-by-floods-in-quebec

Let’s come together for our neighbours!

Terri – Executive Director at Prevention CDN-NDG