Natural Hazards

2020 Flooding - NEW

On January 31 – February 1, a category 4 atmospheric river hit the region, capping a month of heavy rainfall in the Cowichan Valley. Rivers, lakes and streams, including the Chemainus, Cowichan and Koksilah Rivers rose rapidly to 1 in 50 year flood levels causing significant flooding, landslides, and other impacts to the community.

We’re interested in learning more about where these impacts occurred and have created a storymap where you can upload your photos and descriptions of flooding, landslides, or other impacts of the storm. The information you share will help us plan to be better prepared for future natural disasters.

Click here to open the 2020 Flooding storymap Storymap

Be prepared. Understand and manage the risks.

Cowichan is an amazing place to live. However, our region has natural hazards such as flooding, landslides, wildfires and earthquakes. We are also hit by extreme weather events like windstorms and heavy snow. Being aware of potential hazards and being prepared will help reduce the risks to you and your family.

Read the Natural Hazards Householder

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Risk Tolerance Policy

The CVRD has a Risk Tolerance Policy to guide land use and development decisions in areas where hazards may present a risk the life and safety of residents. In areas subject to hazards such as landslides, you may be required to hire an engineer or geoscientist to prepare a geohazard risk assessment for your property prior to any development. The policy is available here.

Are you Prepared? Have a Plan. Make a Kit.

Tips - Have a Plan

Your emergency plan should include details about:
  • meeting places for your family and loved ones to reunite, one close to your home and another outside your community
  • names and contact information for your neighbours 
  • names and contact information for out-of-town contacts
  • family health details (medication names, Care Card numbers, doctor contact information
  • names of people assigned to pick up children, family members who require assistance, or pets, in case you're not able to
  • the location of your emergency kit and grab-and-go bags

Tips - Make a Kit

Your basic family emergency kit should contain these items:
  • Food that doesn't spoil, such as canned goods, energy bars, or dried foods
  • 4L of water per person per day, preferably in small, easy-to-carry bottles
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight and radio (battery powered or hand cranked)
  • Manual can opener
  • Cash (small bills)
  • Prescription medication, baby formula
  • Your emergency plan and contact information
  • Extra keys to your home and car
  • Food and water for your pets