FloodSmart Canada - a national campaign to raise awareness and drive action

Flood risk in Canada

  • Most Canadians living in flood risk areas are not aware of their risk and are not concerned about future risk.
  • Many Canadians want to take personal responsibility for flood protection but few do.
  • Most homeowners don’t know what their insurance covers and don’t intend to purchase flood coverage.
  • Without understanding personal risk of flooding, the majority of Canadians will not take action and will not support the need for flood risk management throughout the country.
  • Action is key to improving flood risk preparedness in Canada.

Barriers to flood preparedness

Canada (Public Safety Survey, 2016)

US (FEMA Survey, 2014)

  1. Not in a flood zone/no risk
  2. It won't happen to me
  3. I rent/it's the landlord's responsibility
  4. Don't know how
  5. Cost
  1. Cost
  2. Don’t know how
  3. Time
  4. Getting information is too hard

Contributing factors (NOAA, 2016):

  • Information shortcuts
  • Finite pool of worry
  • Past experiences
  • Level of risk tolerance
  • Worldview
  • Values
  • Influence of friends and family

Canadians need to understand that anyone can be at risk and anyone can take easy and low-cost actions to get prepared.

Moving forward and building resilience

Everyone has a role to play in flood preparedness.

  • Governments must inform residents about:
    • what is expected of them
    • what could happen to them if a flood occurs
    • which actions are best for their home
  • Insurers must inform consumers about:
    • flood insurance availability and options
    • insurance versus disaster relief
    • opportunities to reduce risk through personal and home protection
  • We must develop a national flood risk strategy that:
    • communicates the risks of flooding
    • provides publicly-available flood risk maps
    • encourages real-estate disclosure
    • encourages property-level flood protection

P4A's role

P4A is making flood risk communication a top priority with our FloodSmart Canada project. With targeted information and effective communication we will empower Canadians to take action. 

We are:

  • Researching best practices on flood risk communications (lessons, approaches, and tools)
  • Partnering with diverse stakeholders to co-develop messages that address barriers
  • Using focus groups and surveys to determine what works
  • Pilot testing methods for communicating risk (national and community-level)

Our project partners:

  • Public Safety Canada
  • Toronto Region Conservation Authority
  • The Weather Network
  • ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability
  • March of Dimes Canada
  • The Co-operators Group. Ltd.
  • Farm Mutual Re
  • The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) 
  • The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC)
  • The Canadian Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (CAMIC)
  • The Town of Oakville
  • The Alberta Emergency Management Agency
  • The Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR)

We welcome your support!