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September 18, 2003
Public Service Announcement: City of Toronto Offers Preparedness Tips for Storm Remnants
As a precaution in the event of severe weather caused by the remnants of
Hurricane Isabel, the following tips and information are provided for Toronto

Flood Prevention:

· Clear eavestroughs, downspouts and catch basins of leaves and other debris
that prevent proper drainage.
· Be sure grading around your home drains water away from all exterior walls.
Even clear eavestroughs can overflow in intense, prolonged rainstorms; so make
sure water can run away from the home.
· Make sure disconnected downspouts are draining properly, ideally 1.8 metres
(six feet) from basement walls.
· Ensure storm sewer grates (catch basin grates) both on and near your property
aren't blocked by garbage, leaves or other debris that would prevent proper
drainage and potentially lead to flooding.
· Fix leaks in walls, floors, windows or foundations.

If your basement floods:

· Call Toronto Water and Wastewater immediately at 416-338-8888, 24 hours a
day, seven days a week to report the flooding.
· Call your insurance company as soon as possible to report property damage
caused by the flooding.
· Be mindful of health and safety when cleaning up your flooded basement. Get
help with the clean up from professionals - check the Yellow Pages under 'Water
Damage Restoration'. If you're doing the clean up yourself, keep these tips in
· Shut off the electrical power (if possible).
· Wear overalls, gloves, protective eyeglasses, rubber boots and a mask.
· Stay away from electrical equipment and do not attempt to change any fuses if
standing in water or on damp ground.
· Open windows to let in fresh air.
· Thoroughly clean and disinfect anything affected by floodwater such as
furniture, carpets, walls, floors, and clothing.
· Throw out any food that may have been affected by flood waters (including
food in cans or jars).

If your basement has been prone to flooding in the past after a heavy rainfall,
it would be prudent to move items off the floor to avoid any potential water

Transportation Services staff continue to clear catch basins on the City's
roads so that water can flow efficiently into sewers. Drivers are asked to be
cautious in areas where there is the potential for flooding such as the lower
end of the Don Valley Parkway and the Bayview Extension. Drive with extra
caution in any severe weather and be aware of pedestrians and any debris on the
roads. If an underpass is flooded, take an alternate route. Do not attempt to
drive through a flooded underpass.

There are no plans currently to reschedule garbage pick-ups that normally occur
on Friday.

Urban Forestry Services will have crews on standby and is prepared to respond
to situations involving downed trees. To report downed trees and/or dangerous
situations involving trees, call 416-338-TREE (-8733) to be connected to the
appropriate district office. After hours tree emergencies should also be
directed to 416-338-TREE (-8733) to access the emergency dispatch line through
the appropriate district office. In the event of high winds, Urban Forestry
Services reminds residents to not stand under trees and to be especially
vigilant to avoid falling and flying objects and materials.

Emergency preparedness

As part of emergency planning, all Toronto residents should have a three-day
supply on hand for each family member of the following:

· drinking water (keep bottled water and fill your bathtub)
· canned food and a manual can opener
· batteries for flashlights and radios
· a first aid kit
· gasoline for your car
· a transistor radio
· cash

Residents are reminded to:

· keep cell phone batteries charged
· know the locations of all electrical panels and water and gas shutoff valves
in your home
· keep flashlights where you can find it in the dark

For more information and advice about emergency preparedness, please visit For information about
City of Toronto services contact Access Toronto at 416-338-0338 or

For more information contact:
Margaret Dougherty, Corporate Communications, 416-397-5313, pager 416-934-3375;
Steve Johnston, Works & Emergency Services, 416-392-4391; Larry Roberts,
Toronto EMS, 416-392-2255; Mike Strapko, Toronto Fire Service 416- 338-9319;
Economic Development, Culture & Tourism Media Hotline, 416-560-8726; Brian
Denney, Toronto Region Conservation Authority, 416-667-6270



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