Alberta Flood Preparation
Some are calling Alberta the “natural disaster capital” of Canada after a study commissioned by the Insurance Bureau of Canada shows that an increase in extreme weather is hitting Alberta insurance companies pretty hard. Not only does this cause a financial burden for families and businesses owners, the livelihood of communities across the province are being affected. Wildfires, floods, hail storms, and other extreme weather conditions continue to sweep in each year causing millions of dollars in damage. Question is, what can we expect moving forward and how can Albertans protect themselves?
Don Forgeron, the President and CEO of Insurance Bureau of Canada made a speech in November of 2015 discussing the dire need of a National Flood program. Forgeron says “A national flood program, we believe, would offer a much more comprehensive and disciplined way to compensate people as a result of damage from flood.” This program would include new sewer and stormwater infrastructures around flood prone areas, create a “culture of flood preparedness” providing a comprehensive list of steps on how to flood proof their properties.
Will this National Flood Program move forward? We will have to wait and see. In the meantime, homeowners/property owners should take all the steps necessary to flood proof their homes and properties. Some of which include the following.
- Know if your home is built on Fill, clay, sand, or gravely soil as these materials can help prevent flood damage.
- Do you have an option to build elevated structures (columns or bearing walls) around your properties or more specifically the areas prone to flood damage?
- Observe the kind of materials of the structure of your house and make sure that it is properly sealed.
- Purchasing sandbags in the event of a flood are a great emergency tool to help prevent water from flowing into your home or property.
While all of these measures will help prevent severe damage in the event of a flood, home owners/property owners should still be educated about their insurance policies should they live in an area prone to flooding. Contact you Insurance company and educate yourself what kind of coverage you have and what is available.
As for a new national flood program, we will have to wait on new developments. Brenda Neufled reports that “IBC is proposing a framework for the financial management of flood risk, with shared responsibilities for the insurance industry, all tiers of government and consumers.” This could mean good news for Albertans living in flood plan areas. Keep an ear out as new aid might be available in the near future for those affected by floods or potential flood victims.