Canadians aren’t prepared for flooding risks: survey

Only four per cent of Quebecers have taken steps to protect their homes from climate change risks, according to Public Safety Canada.

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Only four per cent of Quebecers have taken steps to protect their homes from climate change risks like flooding, versus 11 per cent of Canadians, according to a survey commissioned by the federal government.

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Public Safety Canada is launching a campaign to raise awareness about meteorological catastrophes and asked the Ipsos polling firm to do an online survey for Canadians 25 to 55 years old.

The government is recommending Canadians use water-resistant construction material for basement renovations, to put caulk around basement windows and at the base of ground-floor doors, and to put large appliances like water heaters on wood or concrete blocks. It also recommends ensuring that plumbing and pipes are up to code.

Only four per cent of Quebecers have taken these steps, and Public Safety Canada says springtime brings with it a higher risk of flooding because of violent storms, ice jams or melting snow.

“What we recommend is that people communicate with their municipality and their province, who can give them information specific to their region and community,” said PSC spokesperson Nicholas Defalco.

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But a recent report by the Council of Canadian Academies for the same ministry noted that the federal, provincial and municipal governments rely too often on outdated information including flood maps.

“Natural Resources Canada is in the process of updating the maps,” Defalco said.

Canadians can consult the Flood Ready section of for preparation tips, he said. Quebecers can also consult Geo-Inundations ( to see if their home is in a flood zone, though some maps are not up to date.

The Ipsos survey showed “a weakness in understanding of disastrous consequences of meteorological emergencies in Canada,” with 76 per cent not knowing about or not being concerned by the risks for their communities.

Only 29 per cent of Canadians 25-55 said they have an emergency plan in case of natural disasters. And 45 per cent said the pandemic did not influence how they prepare for future catastrophes.

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