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Nearly half of all flood victims live in chronic stress


Justine Montminy

11 June 2018 13:30

Of all the meteorological phenomena of Canada, floods are the most costly and lead to generally the damage of several million dollars. A study of the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation theUniversity of Waterloo has looked at the psychological effects that lead to flooding for residents.

The study, funded by Intact financial Corporation and Manulifeare based on the impacts that has had a severe storm in August 2014 in Burlington, Ontario, where 3,500 homes had been flooded.

Chronic Stress for victims of floods

The study reveals that during the first 30 days of flood, 47 % of members of households flooded were worried and stressed. Three years after a flood, 48 % of the respondents were found to feel a sense of stress as soon as it rains.

The floods are also affecting the professional life, because in 56% of cases, the victims have had to stop working for at least a week in average. This figure is 10 times higher than the average of ontario’s workers.

“This study adds a new dimension to our understanding of the pernicious effects of the floods. The mental stress in the long term, combined with the time lost from work, stresses the need for the government to promote flood protection in Canada, ” said Blair Feltmate, director of the Center on Climate Adaptation and professor, faculty of environment, University of Waterloo.

Reduce the risk is the solution

The study researchers are of the opinion that if preventive measures are not put in place by the owners, the companies and the government, more and more people could live with impacts following flooding.

The study suggests that homeowners check with their insurance provider to understand their coverage and to check if they are prepared financially for emergency situations.

At the national level, the study reports that the ongoing efforts to reduce the risk of flooding must be continued. It also suggests priority to the training and certification of inspectors dwellings on the flood risk.

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