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August 30, 2005
Storm preparedness tips for Toronto residents
  
As a precaution in the event of heavier than expected rainfall caused by the
remnants of Hurricane Katrina, the following tips and information are provided
for Toronto residents.

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,
window wells and below grade doors. 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 -- especially plastic -- that
would prevent proper drainage and potentially lead to flooding.
- Fix leaks in walls, floors, windows or foundations.
- Empty rainbarrels.

If your basement floods due to a sewer backup, follow these simple steps:
- Call Toronto Water 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. If as
a result of sanitary sewer backup, 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 mind:
- 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).

Also, do not switch on the gas or electricity again until someone from the
utility company has first checked your home. Any submerged gas appliance needs
to be inspected before being restarted.

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
damage.

Residents are reminded to stay away from creeks, streams or rivers, whose water
levels may rise in heavy rains.

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 flooded underpasses.

Homeowners should secure waste containers, including blue boxes and grey boxes.
Put one box on top of the other, or tie newspapers together.

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 water in containers 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 them in the dark

For more information and advice about emergency preparedness, please visit
http://www.toronto.ca/oem. For information about City of Toronto services
contact Access Toronto at 416-338-0338 or accesstoronto@toronto.ca.

Media contact:
Brad Ross, City of Toronto Media Relations, 416-392-8937 or
416-919-6503 (cell)



 

 

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