Flooding is a common, naturally occuring event.

Although it can happen at any time of the year, the most severe floods typically occur in spring known as freshet or during fall and winters.  This seasonal flooding usually caused by heavy rain and snow melt.

What to do Before a Flood

  • Flood waters can rise quickly.  
  • Be ready by developing your emergency plan, putting together a grab-and-go bag and connecting with your neighbours.
  • Check your insurance to see if residential flood insurance is available for your property.
  • Depending on the severity of flooding, local authorities may issue an evacuation alert or order.
  • See more information, and read the province’s updated Flood Preparedness Guide: Be Prepared for Floods

What to do During a Flood

If you face a threatening flood situation:

  • Park vehicles away from streams and waterways.
  • Do not walk or drive through flood waters.
  • Raise electrical appliances.
  • Move valuable and special items to upper floors.
  • Anchor fuel supplies.
  • Listen to local officials if you are asked to evacuate.

What to do After a Flood

  • It’s important to restore your home as soon as possible to protect your health and your house’s contents.
  • Once your home is safe to enter, follow the steps in the Flood Clean Up Guide.


In British Columbia, property owners are responsible for taking the necessary steps on their property to protect their home and property from flooding, while government emergency programs focus on broader flood response measures.

The Town of Oliver will provide sand and sandbags for property owners as needed, in addition to information about sandbag placement. During a flooding emergency,

Emergency Management BC (EMBC) may assist with funding for response works such as tiger dams, sand and sandbags, and other emergency resources.

Sandbagging General Information

Construct sandbag wall (dike) on high ground, as close as possible to your home or building. Sandbagging closer to your home or building requires fewer bags and is less exposed to water. Sandbags must be neatly stacked. Joints between rows and layers of sandbags should be lapped or staggered to improve strength; this will reduce water seepage.

It takes two people about one hour to fill and place 100 sandbags, giving you a one-foot-by-20-foot wall. Make sure you have enough sand, burlap or plastic bags (NOTE: you should tie the ends of plastic bags shut to prevent the sand and bags from washing away), shovels and time to prepare properly.

Sandbagging Video

Sandbagging Notes

  • If you require assistance with sandbagging, please connect with your friends, family or volunteer organizations.
  • The Town of Oliver does not deliver sand or sandbags to private residences or businesses
  • Filled sandbags are not available from the Town of Oliver

Flood Zones are Danger Zones

Be aware of the risks before re-entering a flood zone. Numerous hazards may be present in a flood zone, and they may be difficult to spot due to the surrounding damage and the emotion of returning home.