Recovery from a disaster consists of a range of activities designed to restore physical, social, and economic conditions to normal pre-event levels. Recovery time can vary depending on the scale of the emergency event.
Returning Home After an Emergency
If you were evacuated from your home, it is important that you DO NOT return home until you have been advised it's safe to do so. You will be notified once your Evacuation Order has been rescinded.
After a Wildfire
After a Flood, Landslide, or Mudslide
- Ensure you have a full tank of gas, food and water for seven days, supplies for pets, and medications.
- Stay out of any buildings if floodwaters remain in or around the building
- Do not enter if you see buckled walls or floors
- Call your insurance company to find out what services may be covered by your policy
- If water needs to be drained, do so slowly. Drain about 1/3 of the water per day to ensure your home won't buckle.
- Do not heat your home above the temperature outside until all water has been removed
- If your home has been damaged by water, you may encounter mould, which is a health hazard. Follow these cleaning guidelines or consider hiring a professional.
- Open all your doors and windows to air out your house
- Throw out all perishable food
- Flooding can damage your septic and sewer systems. Reach out to a qualified contractor to assess your systems and give recommendations before using.
- Ensure that your drinking water is safe to drink. If you are on well water, learn how to test your well water. If you are on a water system, check with authorities to see if a boil water advisory is in place and follow these guidelines for disinfecting your drinking water.
- Check with Fortis BC and BC Hydro about gas and electrical service, and review tips for gas and electrical equipment safety.
Learn more about the health hazards after a flood.
- Check to see if you qualify for Disaster Financial Assistance and apply as soon as possible.
- BC Hydro and FortisBC may have billing help for evacuees.
- Farmers may be eligible for livestock relocation assistance.
- Check with your insurance representative to find out what insurance is available including sewer backup and/or flood insurance. You can also contact the Insurance Bureau of Canada at 1-844-227-5422.
Mental Health Resources
Disasters can affect people in many ways. Sometimes we have emotional responses right away and sometimes they show up days, weeks, months, or even years after. Feelings of stress are normal, but some people can experience more severe distress and may require help. If you have difficulty sleeping, emotional outbursts, anxiety or depression, or unexplained physical issues, please seek advice from a professional.
- Visit www.bc.211.ca or call 2-1-1 to access community support for a wide variety of needs.
- The Canadian Mental Health Association has mental health tips on coping with a natural disaster emergency. Visit the Canadian Mental Health Association website for more resources.