Disaster Recovery

The following information is here to provide a general summary of important links and contacts for Cariboo Regional District residents, businesses, and property owners after a disaster.

Disposal of sandbags and construction material after a flood

CRD Refuse Sites are open during normal operational hours for disposal of sandbags and uncontaminated household waste from flood clean-up.  Do NOT place sandbags directly in dumpsters or trenches, ask the attendant for direction to the correct disposal area.

Before disposing of construction and demolition waste materials, or the contents of homes and outbuildings, please call the CRD Environmental Services department at 250-392-3351 or 1-800-665-1636.

Recovery Resources

Disaster Recovery is “getting back to normal” after a disaster. Recovery can begin as soon as homeowners are issued an emergency notification, such as an evacuation alert, by being prepared to evacuate and having your go-kit ready, household emergency plan thought out and organized with close friends and family, and your transportation options planned out in advance.

Recovery activities can include contacting your local government, your insurance company, completing and submitting applications to recovery programs, cleaning up debris, removing additional hazards, rebuilding and repairing damages, landscaping and replacing lost items.

The time frame immediately after and possibly for years after a disaster is stressful. It is important to check in with support systems such as family members, close friends, your faith community, counsellors, and help lines. The Canadian Red Cross has gathered information on how you can prepare emotionally for the stress and disruption of a disaster, as well as tips for taking care of yourself and others. Read their guide Preparing for and Coping with the Effects of a Disaster.

Being prepared in advance will help to reduce wait times for services and resources throughout the next several months by having important documents organized, copied, and on hand. Things to have ready:

Identification: drivers’ license, care card, passport, student card
Access to funds: credit cards, debit cards, cash on hand, banking information
Insurance program details:  property, vehicle and life insurance agreements, extended benefit provider contact information, photographs of contents, proof of ownership; deeds, property documentation
Tax and legal information: up to date tax files (federal, provincial and municipal), business records and contact information for your accountant, bookkeeper, and lawyer
Medical records: contact numbers for family doctor, walk in clinic, specialists, pharmacist including medical records and prescriptions
Planning with extended family: talk with your family members, near and far, about what you or they will do in an emergency.  Where will you go, who will you contact and how? When will you reach out after a disaster, and how can members of your family be in touch with you?  These are all important things to discuss in advance and to talk with family members who are vulnerable and need special assistance about a plan and being prepared. Involve caregivers and medical professionals in this planning case by case as needed.
Planning for pets and hobby farm animals: Non-farm status animals are considered pets in BC. Each pet owner is responsible for their pets. Be ready to care for pets in an emergency by planning with your veterinarian/livestock association, etc. for your specific situation, have crates, feed, vaccination records, water, leashes and harnesses, transportation and boarding options organized in advance. 
Planning with employers, employees and coworkers: Find out if there is a workplace plan for emergencies, discuss communication plans with employers, employees and co-workers if work is disrupted due to an emergency event.

Having these things organized and in place will help with reducing wait times and processes by aiding to fill in applications correctly and completely, communicate with service providers as soon as possible, receive assistance, and return to work sooner and support you in getting back on your feet and back to normal.

See the Red Cross' Guide for Well-Being in Recovery for information on the expected reactions to an extraordinary event and how to deal with the emotional impact of the disaster.

Read Farm Credit Canada’s “Rooted in Strength, Taking care of our families and ourselves” a resource for Canadian farmers and ranchers.

Visit PreparedBC for information about staying healthy before, during and after natural disasters: www.gov.bc.ca/NaturalDisasterHealth

To access mental health and wellness services, and for referrals for specific needs and supports, call the following numbers. All are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

BC Crisis Line: 1-888-353-2273
Provincial Suicide Line: 1-800 (SUICIDE) (1-800-784-2433)
24/7 Mental Health Support: 310-6789

The above phone lines are answered by trained volunteers and staff of the Interior Crisis Line Network, a member organization of the BC Crisis Line Association. These contacts provide short-term emotional support to callers and match people with professional help available locally or elsewhere in the province.

Additional mental health resources also available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays:

KUU-US Crisis Line – Aboriginal Crisis Line
Visit kuu-uscrisisline.ca for specific adult/elder or child/youth supports. 

Northern BC Support/Crisis

Youth Support Line
Visit: northernbccrisissuicide.ca 

Kids Help Phone 
Confidential support and online resources for children and teens. Professional counselling is available immediately.
Visit: kidshelpphone.ca 

Returning home after widespread flooding can be overwhelming. Use caution and take it one step at a time. Visit PreparedBC for some helpful tips for what to do after the flood.

If your well has been flooded, assume that the water in your home is not safe to drink. 

Read the following resources about water systems. If you have further questions, please contact your local interior health office for direction to the water systems officer in charge of your area.

HealthLink BC – Well Water Testing
Interior Health-Flood Resources 
Interior Health PSA April 28, 2020 - Drinking water precautions during and after flooding

Flooding may cause damage to your sewage disposal field if you use the system before floodwaters have dropped below the distribution trenches in your septic field. Talk to your local environmental health officer before using your septic system after a flood.

Call the CRD Environmental Services department at 250-392-3351 or 1-800-665-1636, before disposing of:

  • Construction materials
  • Demolition waste materials
  • Contents of homes
  • Contents of outbuildings

Repairs to driveways and  roadways on private property are the responsibility of the property owner. If you have questions about road repairs in flood affected areas, please contact the following ministries:

Ministry of Transportation: 250 398-4510.  *Please note:  there are no staff in the office at this time due to COVID-19 but voicemail is being monitored, please leave a message and the information will be forwarded to the appropriate road area manager.

Forest Service Roads: Information regarding impacted Forest Service Roads and repairs can be found at the following link:


Any further inquiries for the Cariboo-Chilcotin Natural Resource District can be made by email at: FLNR.AdminServicesCariboo@gov.bc.ca 


Here are some resources from the province of BC regarding the approval process for doing work in around waterways, such as repairing bridges and culverts affected by flooding.

(taken from PreparedBC)

Depending on the severity of the landslide, you may not be able to return home right away.  If authorities say it is safe to go back home, be aware of the potential for additional slides or flooding.  Leave the area immediately if you observe unusual activity.

Recovery from a landslide

  • Photograph damage to your property and contact your insurance broker
  • Seek advice from a geotechnical expert for evaluating landslide hazards or designing corrective techniques to reduce landslide risk
  • replant damaged ground as soon as possible since erosion caused by loss of ground cover can lead to additional instability issues.

The Ministry of Agriculture has plans and procedures in place to help agricultural producers facing emergencies or disasters.

Emergency Management for Agriculture

FrontCounter local number (Williams Lake office) 250-398-4574 | 640 Borland St #120, Williams Lake, BC V2G 4T1

FrontCounter Contact Centre 1-877-855-3222, email: FrontCounterBC@gov.bc.ca.  Inquiries going to the provincial contact centre and/or the generic email address will be rerouted or referred to the local office if required. 


For information regarding water licences and approvals (including changes in and about a stream)


Available at: https://www.fnha.ca/WellnessSite/WellnessDocuments/FNHA-Assessment-of-Septic-Systems-After-a-Flood.pdf 


Casey Neathway, CPHI(C)
Interior Regional Manager
Environmental Public Health Services

#770 – 175 2nd Avenue | Kamloops, BC | V2C 5W1
Office: 250-851-4831 | Mobile: 778-875-3486 | Fax: 250-851-4838

Email: Casey.Neathway@fnha.ca   | www.fnha.ca  |

Page last modified: October 20, 2020 14:26:55 PDT