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Homeowners ill-informed about flood compensation, Blair Feltmate head of Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation comments

Thursday, January 26, 2017

water institute members in the mediaCBC News recently featured a story on the lack of awareness among Canadian homeowners about flood compensation. An internal poll commissioned for Public Safety Canada, revealed that 40 per cent of respondents believe the federal government will provide compensation to homeowners if there's major overland flooding.

The story includes comments by Water Institute member Blair Feltmate, of the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development. 

"Homeowners ill-informed about flood compensation, poll suggests"

By Dean Beeby, CBC News, Jan. 22, 2017

[...] Many Canadian homeowners may be misinformed about whether they'll get federal compensation for basements flooded due to severe weather, a newly released survey suggests.

The poll — commissioned last summer for Public Safety Canada — found 40 per cent of respondents agreed with the statement: "The government will take care of me and my home if there's major overland flooding."

But an expert says the situation has changed since the last major floods in 2013, and Canadians who continue to expect government relief should be warned.

For the vast majority of people, this is not the case; this perception highlights the need for continued consumer education and the need to set the right expectations to ensure homeowners prepare financially to support themselves in the event of flooding.

Practical measures 

But Feltmate says extreme weather events pose a threat to all homes, including those in highly urbanized settings where absorbent topsoil is sealed by pavement and storm-sewer infrastructure is crumbling.

It is simply a matter of time until all homeowners experience overland flooding, so preparedness should be in place now, versus management by disaster, which is more or less in place now.

Among practical measures he suggests for individuals: extending and directing downspouts away from the basement; covering window wells with plastic to keep out heavy rain; grading the land to direct water away from the building; and battery backup for sump pumps. 

[...]

Read the full story by Dean Beeby in CBC News.