FloodSmartCanada - a national campaign to raise awareness and drive action

What do we know?

  • Most Canadians in flood risk areas don’t know it. Most aren’t concerned about future risk.
  • Most want to take personal responsibility for flood protection but few do.
  • Most aren’t certain what their insurance covers, and don’t intend to purchase flood cover.
  • Not understanding risk means we won’t act or support flood risk management in Canada.

Why aren’t we doing anything?

  • Flood risk and action messages are available from many sources, but may go unheard.
  • Barriers:

Canada (Public Safety Survey)

US (FEMA survey)

  1. I am not at risk/no risk
  2. It won't happen to me
  3. I rent/it's the landlord's responsibility
  4. Cost
  1. Cost
  2. Don’t know how/can’t find information
  3. Time

Contributing factors:

  • worldview
  • influence of friends and family
  • level of risk tolerance
  • finite pool of worry
  • past experience
  • what they value

Information and approaches need to convince anyone can be at risk, anywhere, any time and demonstrate action – easy, low-cost

What needs to happen next?

  • 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

What are we doing?

We have a massive opportunity to give information on risk, but also empower to act – information alone simply isn’t good enough.

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)


Who are our 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!