Residents get reminder of flood risk

Residents in flood and landslide-prone areas are being urged to plan ahead this fall and winter.

Residents in flood and landslide-prone areas are being urged to plan ahead this fall and winter.

Between 2007 and 2010, the La Niñaa weather phenomenon caused flooding and landslides in several areas of the Regional District of Nanaimo, and residents could see similar occurences in the next few months.

“Landslides and flooding can happen very quickly – fast moving mud and surface water can knock down trees, flow over roadways and cause significant damage to homes,” said director Dave Bartram, chairman of the RDN Emergency Management Select Committee, in a press release.

Slope instability and potential landslide can occur in some areas if approximately 50 mm of rainfall is received over a 24-hour period, or if there has been heavy extended rain for a week or more.

In some circumstances, such as extended power outage (lasting more than a day or two) in extreme cold, the RDN might open one of its Emergency Reception Centres to help residents keep warm.

Emergency Reception Centres equipped with generators include the Cranberry Hall, Rollo Seniors’ Centre on Gabriola Island and Nanoose Place.

Keeping an eye on rainfall amounts, preparing a Grab ‘n’ Go Bag and making a family recovery plan can make all the difference in an emergency situation.

A family recovery plan should include information on how to shut off electrical power and natural gas sources, safe meeting places out of the flood-risk area, an out-of-province contact, plans for pets and livestock, and a neighbourhood safety plan that identifies people who might need help.

Information is available on the RDN website at www.rdn.bc.ca and at www.pep.bc.ca.