In the last few weeks, parts of the Ottawa area have seen record flooding and with the water slowly receding, it’s now time to think about the next steps. Whether you are a homeowner affected directly or just want to lend a helping hand, there is still a lot that will need to be done. Here is what you need to know, but for the most up to date information on everything flood related, it is important to check www.ottawa.ca regularly for updates.
Homeowners Affected by Flooding:
- Keep Sandbag Walls Up for the Time Being – with heavy rain expected Thursday, May 9th and Friday, May 10th, some predictions are showing that the water levels may rise again to similar levels.
- Attend a Community Information Session – the City will be hosting four of these next week. How to safely return home, remove waste and debris, and apply for financial assistance will all be covered.
- If you need help with your property, fill out a work order – This can be done by visiting a community support centre or by filling out a work order online. Please only register once as multiple requests can cause additional backlogs.
- Financial Aid for Immediate Needs – Homeowners directly impacted by the flooding may be eligible to receive up to $600 to help meet their immediate needs from the Red Cross. To register, call 1-800-863-6582, go online at redcross.ca, or register in person at designated community centres.
- Contact Your Insurance Provider – You will want to do this as soon as possible if your home was affected by the flood to see if you have flood coverage. If you do, start collecting evidence as your insurer may not be able to inspect your home immediately after the flood. Take pictures and videos to show the damage that was done.
- Get an inspection before turning the power back on – If you turned off the power during the flood or your power was turned off by the Hydro companies, it is important to have everything inspected before it is turned back on.
- Remember the water is contaminated – As you start the clean up process, it is important to remember that the water was contaminated with everything from septic overflow to fuel and it is important to remember that anything that can’t be properly cleaned must be discarded. Sandbags, and their contents, should not be re-used and the City will provide information on their pick up.
Want to Help:
- Watch City Website for Calls for Volunteers – At this time, the city does not require volunteers but are urging people to rest up as they will again be looking for volunteers as the flood waters recede and the recovery process begins. Check daily for updates.
- Financial Donations – If you would like to make a monetary donation to the relief efforts, this can be done through the Red Cross – Ontario Floods Appeal. This can be done online, by calling 1-800-418-1111, or by contacting your local Red Cross office.
- Food Donations – The Ottawa Food Bank is coordinating food donations for those currently affected by flooding. To find a drop off point, please visit their website.
- Clothing, furniture and household donations – The Salvation Army is accepting these items in anticipation of increased requests from those affected by flooding. Items may be donated in person at any Salvation Army Thrift Store.