Be Ready for Emergencies

Be Ready for Emergencies

After a flood

Flood season typically begins in late April in the NWT. The risk of flooding in communities is highest during spring break-up when ice moves unpredictably through rivers during thaw. Watch the video to learn more about flooding in our communities. Download the Be Ready for Floods Planning Workbook


Steps you can take to reduce your risk after a flood:

Before returning home

Residents should not return to the evacuated area post-flood until told it is safe to do so by safety officials.

Additional hazards after waters recede


  • The force of flood waters can cause unstable infrastructure by wearing down the foundations of roads, bridges, buildings, pipes, and power lines, etc.


  • The force of flood waters can cause items or debris to become hazardous, such as trees and power lines, or cause contamination.


  • Many dangerous substances can get mixed in with flood waters, such as concentrations of garbage, sewage, and other toxic pollutants.

Essential Services

  • It may not be safe to enter back into a community before power, water, sewage, and fuel services have been repaired.

Returning home​

  • Do not return home until authorities say it is safe to do so.
  • Clean and disinfect all surfaces impacted by flooding.
  • If the main power switch was not turned off prior to flooding, do not re-enter your home until a qualified electrician has determined it is safe to do so.
  • Check for any damage to electrical or gas equipment that may have been caused by floodwater.
  • Do not use any appliances, heating, pressure, or sewage system until electrical components have been thoroughly cleaned, dried, and inspected by a qualified electrician. 

Before moving back in

Once the flood waters have receded, you should not live in your house until:

  • The regular water supply has been inspected and officially declared safe for use.
  • Every flood-contaminated room has been thoroughly cleaned, disinfected and surface-dried.
  • All contaminated dishes and utensils have been thoroughly washed and disinfected - either by using boiling water or by using a sterilizing solution.

Checklists for returning home


  • Before you start the cleanup, call your insurance company.
  • Be as detailed as possible when providing information. List all damaged or destroyed items.
  • If possible, assemble proofs of purchase, photos, receipts and warranties. Keep all receipts related to clean up and living expenses if you’ve been displaced.
  • If there is damage to the structure of your home, ask your insurance company about getting a professional inspection.

Navigating flood recovery and disaster assistance

Dealing with recovery from flooding is a multi-step process. But you don't have to do it alone. 

If a disaster has been declared in your area due to flooding, there may be assistance available to you.

If you need help or have questions, contact your regional Municipal and Community Affairs office.

For those outside communities

If you are a harvester or trapper whose cabin or equipment were damaged due to flooding, there may be assistance available.

For community governments