Profile – Home Flood Protection Program

The Home Flood Protection Program (HFPP) is a community-based flood risk reduction program developed by the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation (ICCA), an applied research centre at the University of Waterloo.

The goal of the program is to help homeowners reduce their risk of basement flooding and minimize damage if flooding occurs. The program provides free online self-help resources and a custom, fee-for-service flood-risk evaluation, known as the ‘Home Flood Protection Assessment.’

The program was piloted in Burlington, Ontario during 2017, and lessons learned from this pilot will help to inform a nation-wide program providing Canadians with practical resources to reduce flood risk. ICCA is tasked with the implementation of the initial phase of the Home Flood Protection Program (HFPP).

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Similar to a home inspection service, the HFPP provides site assessment services by trained staff with a focus on basement flood risk mitigation. A standardized online reporting checklist is used to identify risks of flooding, risks of damage to personal property in the event of a flood and key maintenance activities required to reduce risk.

The 2017 training program was designed to enhance existing knowledge of assessors, who typically possess a minimum of 3 years in-field experience in home inspection, landscaping, home construction or property insurance. Training was delivered using a blended approach of online self-directed training and in-class hands-on training.

The online portion of the course was delivered to trainees using LearnDash, a learning management system, and were engaged in various activities such as reviewing written material, posting to discussion forums, completing quizzes, watching videos, and participating in live webinars.

It provided fundamental instruction required to effectively deliver the ‘Home Flood Protection Assessment’ to residents of single family homes. This program was further adopted by Seneca College and Fleming College in 2018 for delivery.

Additionally, this work also led to the development of Canadian Standards Association CSA Z800, Guideline on basement flood protection and risk reduction. The guideline was prepared to assist relevant stakeholders in the mitigation of basement flood risk for new and existing National Building Code of Canada Part 9 residential buildings. Development of the guideline was motivated both by current basement flood risk and by the potential for increased risk in many regions of Canada under changing climate conditions.