You should be prepared to take care of yourself and your family for a minimum of 72 hours. Here's how.
For more information, please visit http://www.getprepared.gc.ca/index-eng.aspx
The water levels in Châteauguay are the object of increase surveillance from November 15 to April 15 each year. The municipality remains in a state of vigilance and maintains emergency teams that are ready to intervene.
The City has an emergency measures committee and civil protection to come to its aid, whether before, during or after a disaster.
Châteauguay River Info - 450.698.3333
To find out about conditions during the increased risk period, residents of Châteauguay can consult the Internet site of Hydro-Météo at www.hydrometeo.com for information on the Châteauguay River (ice, overflow, etc.). This information is available in French.
It is impossible to control the natural elements. The force and intensity with which the river can leave its banks surpasses our ability to control it.
Regardless, it is important to be prepared for any eventuality, even when no disaster is threatening, you can save yourself many problems.
First you should inspect your home to ensure that everything is in place to guarantee maximum security.
Here are some elements that must be rigorously inspected:
Foundations; windows and openings in the basement; roof drainage; floor drainage; accumulation wells; sump pumps; backwater valves; lot drainage; basement garages
Cracks that are visible in the foundations or in the cement slabs in the basement are more often the way water enters. You must fill them in with epoxy without delay. If the damage is too significant, you must repair them from the outside. This may be a good time to call in professionals.
Windows and openings in the basement:
Water that accumulates around the building is often able to enter by the windows in the basement. A space of 8 inches (200 mm) between the ground level and the base of a window is recommended. If such a space is impossible to obtain, you must install a window well that will protect the opening in the foundation by channeling water towards the foundation drain.
For homes with a flat roof, water must be directed towards the storm drain. For roofs with a slant, the installation of a gutter is essential in order to quickly remove the water from the house. It is recommended that you install a section of horizontal gutter at the extremity of the gutter or to use a storm deviator to direct the water that gathers away from the foundation as quickly as possible.
All basements must be equipped with a floor drain to enable water to be removed when it accumulates. We suggest the installation of a drain with a perforated grill instead of a cover. The drain can be protected by a back-water valve that will provide additional protection against sewer backups.
Also known as an accumulation basin. This is a prerequisite for the installation of a sump pump. It acts as a reservoir and captures the water before it is pumped outside. It is possible to install a well in the basement that does not already have one by creating an opening in the cement. Basins are readily available on the market.
The sump pump pumps the accumulated water out of the building. This type of pump is able to pull water at least 10 feet (3m) from the house. It must be inspected and maintained regularly. To be checked: the adjustment in the level of the float, the functioning of the back water valve, the electricity, the condition of the support column and the pumping capacity.
This valve essentially prevents water from returning due to a back up of water in the sewers. As well, to avoid sewage backups it is important to ensure that there is a valve on the branches of the sinks, floor drains, toilettes and showers in the basement. These must be easily accessible to allow for maintenance (1 or 2 times each year). It is forbidden to install a valve on a main line.
To remove water from your property, it must have a slope of 1% away from the house. In this way, water is channeled to the street and not towards the house.
So that the water cannot infiltrate in the garage, install a border (bump) at street level, install a drain outside the garage connected to the storm drain and a drain inside the garage connected to the household drain.
A house with infrastructures that conform and are in good condition remains the surest way to prevent water infiltration.
However, nature comes at us with such strength sometimes that it becomes difficult to face. The risk of flood becomes unavoidable, regardless of impeccable equipment. It is still possible to limit the material damages by adopting some preventative measures.
As soon as there is a danger, no matter how slight, of floods to due heavy rains or because of another disaster, you must without delay inform the local authorities of the progress of the increase of water and follow their advice, including:
- Move goods from the basement and put them on a higher level, or at least put them on shelves.
- Put away any herbicides, insecticides, solvents and any other dangerous products, that when mixed with water could constitute a danger for the safety and health of residents;
- Avoid any over consumption of water. The sewer system is already full, it is useless to fill it any more; do not use the dish washer or clothes washer, do not let the water run in the bathtub or sink, do not flush and cut the feed of water if the situation becomes grave.
- Cut the electricity. If the panel is in the basement and the water has already come into the basement BE CAREFUL! THERE IS A DANGER OF ELECTROCUTION! Contact Hydro-Québec for assistance
- When it comes to household appliances and heating units follow the advice of your manufacturer. Why not contact them today to find out what you should do if a flood threatens.
- Have a place ready to move to if the situation should deteriorate.
- Have your insurance papers on hand.
When this happens the important thing is to ensure your safety and that of our family. So, don't wait until the roads are impassable to leave your home. When you leave, be careful and don't forget that if your motor cuts out it is better to save your life than to try to save your car.
The best thing to do is to observe the instructions of local authorities to the letter. If you are asked to evacuate, do so without delay and take refuge in a safe place. The City will take care of residents who have not found a place to stay.
Do not forget to bring your survival equipment that you have already gathered up with you. This should include:
- Health insurance card
- Credit and debit cards
- Driver's license
- Warm clothes and boots / overshoes
- A change of clothes
- Medications and prescriptions
- Baby / children's articles (diapers, bibs, soother, toys, etc.)
- Warm blankets
- Battery powered radio and batteries
- Food if necessary
- Address book
- Flashlight and batteries
- Games / cards
- Candles, waterproof matches
Inform the municipal authorities of where you will be staying. You must also register with them so that they can reach you easily.
In the case of health problems caused by the flood, you can contact the 24 hour help line - Info Santé at 450.699.3333.
Contact your insurance agent as quickly as possible. Keep your housing, food bills etc. to claim from your insurance company.
Returning home as quickly as possible, this is the wish of all disaster victims. However, caution is necessary. It is imperative to have the house inspected by a master electrician to determine if it is safe to return home.
Furthermore, before obtaining permission to return home, you must ensure that a) the tap water is drinkable - you must consider that it is not safe, until you are advised to the contrary by the municipality; b) electricity can be turned on; c) the heating system is working; d) the sanitation systems are functioning.
If water has infiltrated your home, this water is potentially contaminated by sewage. You must take the following precautions:
Before doing any work in the house, it is important to wear rubber gloves to avoid contact with the water and soiled materials since the risk of infection is great. Even after the surfaces are dry, they could be contaminated with bacterial and cause infections. Keep children away from the contaminated area.
Throw away any food that may have been in contact with sewer water, bottles containing drinks and jars of food, including home made preserves. Any can that is not damaged must be washed and disinfected.
Throw away any medications, beauty products and other toiletries that were in contact with the water.
Remove any wet material and throw away the carpets, rugs, mattresses, box springs, pillows, cloth toys and furniture where the stuffing is wet. These articles can not be deep cleaned and dried rapidly, nor dry cleaned.
Change the insulation inside the water heater, the refrigerator and the freezer if it is wet.
If you have health problems, consult your doctor without delay.
Residents who have physical or psychological reactions resulting in insomnia or anxiety can contact the CLSC Info-Santé help line at 450.699.3333. This service operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
First, it is important to clean all surfaces, inside cavities and west structures with soapy water.
Once this is done, disinfect the surfaces with javel water (1/2 cup of 5% javel water in 2 gallons of water), ensuring that you ventilate the area.
Rinse and clean the floors. If there is a sub-floor, ensure that the water has been removed. Wash the sub-floor. Deep dry it quickly and ensure that there is no yeast. Wait until everything is completely dry to cover up the cavities.
Check the walls 50 centimetres (20 in) above the line that the water reached. Throw away any wet insulation since it will no longer be a good insulator and it may encourage the forming of yeasts.
Ventilate and dehumidify the house to return the humidity level to normal in the house. In winter this level should be 40 - 50% and should never pass 60%.
It is important to not neglect the importance of disinfecting. We cannot warn the public enough of the dangers of contamination. It is necessary to remain vigilant since the moulds may remain several months later.
Calling upon the expertise of a company that specializes in disinfecting is very strongly recommended.
The yard must also be cleaned. Remove any garbage or refuse that may attract vermin and encourage the development of mosquitoes.
Disinfecting the contaminated premises is very important.
When you progressively empty the basement with pumps, be extremely careful not to be asphyxiated, electrocuted or catch on fire.
Careful with the use of gasoline or propane powered pumps! They can be a source of carbon monoxide poisoning, which could cause various effects from a headache to coma to death.
Remember that asphyxiating gasses are odourless, colourless and painless. Make sure that the equipment is left outside.
If someone you are working with seems slightly ill, stop your pump and consult a doctor immediately.
After you have contacted your insurance company and you have informed them of the material damages that you have suffered, they will proceed with your claim. However, to facilitate the claim process, we strongly suggest that you:
- Keep damaged objects, as long as they do not pose a health threat;
- Draw up a list of damaged objects including their description, the series number of the household appliance or electronic equipment, the date of purchase, the replacement cost if your policy includes the replacement value.
- Take photographs of the damages including those to the home itself
- Gather up all of the bills that you have paid since beginning of the disaster, including the cost of repairs or renovations. Also gather up any receipts for housing and food that you have accumulated while you were evacuated if such was the case
- As for the repair, restoration or renovation work that you must have done after a disaster, ensure that you use a licensed contractor. You can ask your insurance company for references or contact the Régie de bâtiment or the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Châteauguay for assistance in finding a contractor worthy of your confidence. You must also obtain a permit before you start any work. You should simply contact the (Permits Department) Service des permis to obtain more information.
Urgence : 9-1-1
Police : 450.698.1331
Sécurité-incendie : 3214
Édifice de la Mairie : 450.698.3000
Service des permis : 450.698.3260
Service des travaux publics : 450.698.3150
Bureau d'assurance du Canada : 514.288.6015
Centre hospitalier Anna-Laberge : 450.699.2425
CLSC et Info-Santé (24 h par jour) : 450.699.3333
Corporation des maîtres électriciens du Québec : 514.738.2184
Corporation des maîtres mécaniciens en tuyauterie du Québec : 1.800.465.2668
Environnement Canada : 514.283.3010
État des routes : 514.284.2363
Gaz métropolitain : 514.598.3222
Senteur de gaz : 514.598.3111
Hydro-Québec : 1.800.790.2424
Ordre des architectes : 1.800.599.6168
Société canadienne d'hypothèque et de logement : 514.283.2222