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Statement on flood preparedness from Minister of Community Services Richard Mostyn

by ahnationtalk on February 16, 202438 Views


Minister of Community Services Richard Mostyn has issued the following statement:

“In recent years, a number of locations across Yukon have been impacted by severe flooding. I know flood preparedness is on top-of-mind for many Yukoners. While it is too early to predict what the spring will hold, we are taking steps to prepare for potential spring flooding.

“We want Yukoners to be prepared for any flood-related emergencies that may occur this spring. The Government of Yukon is working closely with municipal and First Nations governments and other local response agencies on emergency training, planning and hazard identification. This crucial work helps ensure that when floodwaters rise, the response is as smooth and coordinated as possible.

“Municipalities and First Nation governments are responsible for having an emergency plan. The Government of Yukon is here to step in to provide extra resources, staff and coordination assistance when an emergency becomes too much for a community to manage on its own.

“As part of a national effort, the Government of Yukon is also looking at flood risk across the territory and at mitigation options that would reduce flood risk for Yukoners. This includes the flood mapping project led by the Department of Environment and work underway in Community Services to explore high-level, long-term options for flood mitigation in Yukon communities.

“Even with the best planning in place, Yukoners may still need financial support to recover from an emergency. That is why in recent years, the Government of Yukon created funding programs to help Yukoners impacted by large natural disasters. This year, we are creating a Yukon Disaster Financial Assistance program to get money into people’s hands sooner. This program will include funding streams to support households, small businesses, and farms.

“We’re continuing to deliver on our promises to support Yukoners during times of crisis with investments in the upcoming budget. Budget 2024/25 will include funding to support hazard identification and risk assessments, work with partners on plans that support climate resilient infrastructure investments, improve our climate forecasting capacity, support access to insurance, and update our emergency preparedness communications infrastructure. Subject to legislative approval, this funding will build on investments from the Department of Environment to support flood mapping and forecasting that will help build safer and more climate resilient communities.

“In addition to the great work being done by municipal, First Nations, and the territorial government officials, individual Yukoners need to remember that we all have a role to play in emergency preparedness. During a major incident, emergency responders are focused on saving lives and protecting critical infrastructure. You are responsible for preparedness on your property.

“For flooding, that means making sure you have materials on hand to protect your property from the impacts of floodwater. That can be as simple as elevating important appliances and documents off lower or basement floors, checking your sump pump is in working order, or making sure you have adequate sandbags, pumps and other equipment to deal with meltwater or floodwater.

“It also means checking that you are insured against flood impacts. If you live in a vulnerable area, make sure that your insurance covers impacts such as overland flooding or sewer backup, which are often not included in a basic policy. The Government of Yukon recovery programs do not cover insurable losses.

“We also recommend that you and your family have a plan of what to do and where to go in case of emergency, as well as a 72-hour kit with all the essentials you would need if you had to shelter at home or leave home in a hurry.

“The Government of Yukon will continue working with partners in other governments to help ensure that Yukoners feel safe and communities are prepared for potential flooding, and other emergencies that we may face together.”

Media contact

Laura Seeley
Cabinet Communications


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