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Storm-proof your home before you leave on vacation

For immediate release: August 2, 2018 - 1:11pm

As some prepare for a long weekend or more time away from home, please take a few minutes to stormproof before you go. Heavy summer downpours are a leading cause of basement floods.  

Since April 2018 and as part of a pilot project, the University of Waterloo has been assessing flood risk for Saskatoon homes.  Homeowners may think they've done all they can; however, preliminary analysis reveals opportunities to reduce the risk of flooding in a major storm exists for each of the assessed homes in Saskatoon. 

To give yourself some peace of mind while you are away, follow these four steps to help keep water where it belongs: at the beach and out of your basement.   

4 Tips to Reduce Flood Risks  

1. Make sure your downspouts and sump pump discharge pipes are extended at least two metres (six feet) away from your foundation.  

Risk: 40% of assessed homes in Saskatoon do not have long enough extensions. 

2. Test your sump pump and backup battery.  

Risk: 80% of assessed homes in Saskatoon with a sump pump do not have backup power supply in case of a power outage. 

3. Clean and test your backwater valve.  

Risk: 40% of assessed homes in Saskatoon with backwater valves do not test them each season. 

4. Ask a friend to check your basement if it rains.  

Risk: Most homeowners are not aware that their insurance policies require them to monitor the condition of their homes - even while they are away - in order to qualify for insurance coverage. 

Saskatoon residents can participate in the University of Waterloo's Home Flood Protection Program until the end of September to receive a 50-point flood risk assessment that identifies priority actions to reduce basement flood risk. Subsidized home assessments are available on a first come, first served basis for all Saskatoon residents for a fee of $125 (full value of $450). 

The Home Flood Protection Program is developed by the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation at the University of Waterloo, delivered by AET Group, and available in Saskatoon thanks to funding support provided by the City of Saskatoon, SGI CANADA and Intact Financial Corporation. Register for your home assessment or get more information online at