Floods can happen with or without warning and may be caused by nature or man. Know what the risks are for your area and prepare accordingly.
Remember that even if you live in the city and do not live near a lake, river or other body of water that there is still the risk of flooding.
are many, many miles of underground pipes, and there are a number of
them that are aging and can burst, giving you the surprise of the day
you weren't hoping for. Have a look here to see what happened in Montreal, Quebec in January 2009.
Even though personally I feel that buying an inflatable boat in particularly risky areas can be an option, beware of the shortcomings. At Walmart for under $30.00 U.S. you can get one. I wouldn't sail the Seven Seas with it, or cross a lake with it, but it may be enough to keep you from going for a swim down the street or other smaller and less dangerous areas. At that price it is a toy to all intents and purposes.
There are different prices of course for inflatable boats depending on the brand, size, features and quality. Purchase one that you feel would suit your needs and your budget, but if there is any real degree of danger such as deep water and debris that could puncture a cheap, single chambered one, get something that will tackle these challenges.
You must consider getting a quality inflatable if you live on an island such as Montreal or other area where you are mainly surrounded by water.
Bridges and tunnels may be inaccessible due to heavy traffic or may be out altogether because of severe damage in a disaster.
If you do not want to be stuck in a major metropolitan area where there is no electricity or water, and where the majority of people probably haven't taken thought about stocking up and where looting and violence may be prevalent, get a boat to leave the place. Save yourself and your family should it ever get that bad. But there are risks, and it is YOUR decision to make.
Of course you'll need to weigh the risk of crossing any waters, particularly if the time of year is when the water will be cold or even not so cold because hypothermia can happen in water as warm as 24˚ Celsius.
It is best to not take too many risks. Make a good judgment call and consider your family, the ages involved and if they can swim, do any have physical handicaps, how many family members there are, your equipment including life jackets and other security items etc. before seriously considering to cross an expanse of water.
The more you are, the more equipment and other provisions you normally should have with you. You may need a bigger boat or more than one. There may be strong currents and a shipping lane or other busy area, so beware. There may also be debris in the water that may burst the inflatable, even though some have more than one air chamber.
Depending on the amount of equipment you'll be carrying and how you'll carry it, you may attract unwelcomed attention to other people which could potentially endanger you if they are looters.
It would have to be a pretty serious disaster I think before you should really consider leaving in such manner. If you own a good, regular solid hull boat and that it is there and you can access it, all the better.
It is your responsibility to determine if it is feasible to leave by boat, not me.
Emergency preparations is not about being paranoid, but being provident while sanely assessing the potential hazards that may occur in your area, and to prepare accordingly. I am not suggesting to purchase an inflatable boat if you live in the desert as an example. Do what you feel is right, and think about and plan how you would do things if a flood (or other emergency) happens.
I do not advise hasty actions, but simply to consider your options. Make up your own mind about what to do.
The comments above are my own, and no-one else's.
The following information is from the Get Prepared site of the Government of Canada.
For more info on floods
Flood Disasters in Canada (NRCan Database)
Floods are the most frequent natural hazard in Canada. They can occur at any time of the year and are most often caused by heavy rainfall, rapid melting of a thick snow pack, ice jams, or more rarely, the failure of a natural or man-made dam.
To reduce the likelihood of flood damage
If a flood is forecast
If flooding is imminent
If you need to evacuate
Never cross a flooded area
Restore your home to good order as soon as possible to protect your health and prevent further damage to the house and its contents. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has prepared a checklist to help organize your cleanup. It is also available by calling 1-800-668-2642 (outside Canada call 613-748-2003).
Re-entering your home
Ensure building safety
Maintain good hygiene during flood cleanup. Minimize contact with floodwater or anything that may have been in contact with it. Keep children away from contaminated areas during cleanup operations.
Recommended flood cleanup equipment
Heating and appliances
Dirt and debris
Carpets and furniture
Food and medicine
- Contents of freezer or refrigerator, including all meats and all fresh fruit and vegetables
- All boxed foods
- All bottled drinks and products in jars, including home preserves (since the area under the seal of jars and bottles cannot be properly disinfected)
- Cans with large dents or that reveal seepage
What to discard
What is salvageable
Before moving back in