To aid in their mission to advance flood resiliency in Canada, Partners for Action (P4A) released their new website, www.floodsmartcanada.ca, on October 11, 2016. FloodSmartCanada is designed to be a source of information for all Canadians who want to learn more about flooding and the risks associated with it, as well as how to prepare for an emergency.
The information on the website was created by community members, organizations, businesses and municipalities and it has now been consolidated for community members, organizations, businesses and municipalities. Flood-related material comes from sources across the country, and now we can access it all with the click of a mouse.
Why do we need an information database like this? P4A director, Shawna Peddle, states that the applied research network recently conducted a study of 2,300 Canadian homes in areas that are at a high risk for flooding "to better understand how we see flood risk, responsibility for protecting residential properties before a flood, and also responsibility for recovery and repair after a flood event."
The results are a cause for concern: 86.5% of all respondents said that their home is NOT vulnerable to flooding, while 94.4% did not even know that their home is in a designated flood risk area. Half of all respondents stated that they were ‘not at all concerned’ about flooding. Peddle notes, "Approximately half of respondents were unsure if their home insurance policy covered damages from heavy rain, riverine flooding, groundwater infiltration, or coastal storm surge. Many incorrectly believed their insurance covered flooding caused by these same perils." Overall, the results suggest that Canadians are not entirely aware of the risks and unfortunate aftermath of flooding.
P4A is more motivated than ever to advance flood resiliency in Canada, and FloodSmartCanada will play a significant part in doing so. Peddle says, "The website has been designed to fill the knowledge gap, get Canadians talking about their risks, and what they can do to protect themselves, their homes, and their communities." It will continuously be updated as new, relevant information becomes available.
P4A is already working to make FloodSmartCanada even better. The network aims to make the website accessible to more Canadians through the translation of materials into French, Chinese, Punjabi, Cree, Ojibwe, and Inuktituk. They have applied for funding under the Community Resilience category of the Aviva Community Fund, but they need our help! Every vote counts – register to vote up to 18 times between now and October 28 here or here. We all want a flood-resilient country, and your votes could help get us there.