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Spotlight Story: Dufferin County

Dufferin County logoLocated in Central Ontario, Dufferin County has experienced heavy pluvial flooding in recent years that led to local evacuations and washed out roads. To counter these flood risks, Dufferin County has established partnerships and reached out to the public to increase the community’s resilience to flooding.

Information sessions were held earlier in 2018 to involve community members in the discussions on flood risk. Presentations covered topics such as the health effects of floods and flood insurance. The goal of the workshops was to teach residents how they can better protect their families and properties from the increasing risk of floods.

To further involve the public, Dufferin County collaborated with Partners for Action on a flood-related research project. The study involved a voluntary survey whereby residents were asked about their flood experiences, and how these events have affected their risk perception of floods and their preparations for future flood events. The county assisted with participant recruitment for the survey to ensure more residents had the opportunity to share their experiences. The results of this survey benefit the local population as well as other communities who are dealing with flooding and working towards community and individual-level flood preparedness.  

Dufferin County is using both structural and non-structural methods to prepare for floods. Earlier in 2018, the county introduced a new emergency warning system whereby residents can register for local emergency alerts. The county also provided residents with lists of items to include in personal, family, and vehicle emergency kits. On their online “Newsroom” page Dufferin County provides flood updates for the public when necessary. In terms of structural methods, dykes and barriers were installed near vulnerable buildings to limit damages.

The county has created an informative video titled “Flood Prevention and Awareness”, which serves as an excellent source of information for residents starting to learn about flood preparedness. The video covers many areas concerning floods, such as the causes, impacts, and general safety tips for when floods occur. The county encourages viewers to review additional flood preparedness resources on the Dufferin County website as well as information on the province's watershed found on the Conservation Ontario’s website. All of this material helps community members through every step of preparation and recovery.

Through information sessions, research studies, and online communication, Dufferin County has excelled in engaging the public on the matter of flood preparedness. After facing serious flooding in past years, the community has set itself up for success and a collaborative preparation process.  

Links:                                                                                                                Flood Prevention and Awareness, Dufferin County. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0Lxqifi1DE

Source:​                                                                                                            Halliday, C. (2018, March 27). Dufferin County launching new automated warning system for citizens facing immediate threats. Retrieved from https://www.orangeville.com/news-story/8354326-dufferin-county-launching-new-automated-warning-system-for-citizens-facing-immediate-threats/