Before the Flood - Be Prepared

A flood is coming: What should you do?

If you live in a flood-prone area, the best thing you can do to keep your family and property safe is to make a plan and be prepared to follow it.

Each flood situation is unique, and your emergency plan should account for that – and be ready well in advance.

1. Know the warning system

The RVCA issues water conditions statements to inform residents, municipalities and other stakeholders of changing water levels across the watershed.

flood normal
flood safety
flood outlook
flood watch
flood warning

Click on a gauge for a larger image

GREEN: A green gauge means conditions are normal.

YELLOW: A yellow gauge can mean two things:

  • A yellow Water Safety Statement means rivers could have high flows, unsafe banks, melting ice or other factors that could be dangerous. However, flooding is not expected.
  • A yellow Flood Outlook Statement is an early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high wind or other conditions that could lead to high runoff, cause ice jams, lakeshore flooding or erosion.

ORANGE: An orange Flood Watch means flooding is possible in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities, emergency services and individual landowners in flood-prone areas should prepare.

RED: A red Flood Warning means flooding is imminent or already occurring in specific watercourses or municipalities.

2. Be prepared

  • The first step to flood preparedness is knowing your risk level. Call an RVCA Resource Specialist to learn more about your property before flooding occurs.
  • Subscribe to RVCA’s flood messages for regular updates and advanced warning of an impending flood. You can also stay informed through the RVCA website or our Facebook and Twitter pages.
  • Learn about your municipality’s emergency plan: evacuation routes and locations for emergency shelters, as well as their sandbag program if they have one.
  • Plan and practice an evacuation route with your family.
  • Pack an emergency kit that can be accessed easily and carried quickly in case of evacuation; include any necessary medication, blankets, extra clothing and flashlights.
  • Install a battery powered sump pump that can work in a blackout.

Learn more from Environment Canada's detailed flood preparation guide.

Contact Us

Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
3889 Rideau Valley Drive
Manotick, Ontario K4M 1A5

613-692-3571, 1-800-267-3504



Regular Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Member of: conservation ontario