Blog - The Raven Speaks

Flooding 101

For many Canadians, dealing with floods is as much of a spring ritual as buying seeds for their garden.  Melting snow and ice and more rainshowers puts many communities on high alert until drier summer months.

Equip yourself with some basic knowledge of the hazards and risks of flooding, and be better prepared to assist your community the next time the water rises.  We spoke with emergency responders and Raven Rescue instructor Rob Vance to offer you his expert advice.



Q: Flooding presents many risks that individual citizens are unaware of. When a flood strikes, what are three high-risk things that an emergency responder should be prepared to encounter individuals doing?

1. Working in contaminated areas

2. Being incredibly helpful - but potentially being in the way or increasing risk to themselves and first responders

3. Making quick decisions - often with little thought - the majority of citizens do not respond well when they are taken out of their routine or comfort zone


Q: Responding to a flood involves multiple different organizations. Who should emergency responders expect to coordinate with during a flooding situation?

At the very least, emergency responders whould be prepared to coordinate with SAR, Emergency Management organizations (ex. CEMA), Task Force, Local non-profits, Red Cross.



Q: What level of training is ideal for emergency responders responding to flooding conditions?

Swiftwater Rescue Technician Level 1 training, and boat training.


Q: What are three examples of how first responders can prepare themselves and their departments for responding to floods in their community?

1. Train in water environments that carry a higher class rating than the body of water in their response district

2. Review and train on the hazards that floods create - debris, hazmat, varying access

3. Be very proficient with PPE and group gear - make the gear working with and for you - not against you


If you have more questions about preparing for flooding in your community, give us a call. We provide training for community emergency program administrators, as well as emergency response personnel on the ground. Our equipment warehouse also supplies communities with the tools they need to respond safely.


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Derek Birkham, Ile-A-La-Crosse School Division

At the end of the SRT1 course, I had one point to clarify. The instructors, Chris and Garth, stopped their packing up and took the time to demo and help me practice the skill. The course was over and the parking lot was half empty and they still took the time to help me learn!


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