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Extreme Weather

Extreme weather refers to severe weather events like heatwaves, floods, thunderstorms or frigid temperatures that could cause significant impacts on infrastructure, the environment and homes.

Learn more about our cool down, warm up and clean air locations.


Cataraqui Conservation is responsible for monitoring and issuing updates on water levels in the Kingston area. You can find information about flood forecasting and warnings on their website.

To reduce the likelihood of flood damage:

    • Put a weather seal around basement windows and the bottom of ground-level doors.
    • Make sure your eavestroughs are clear of debris. Make sure downspouts extend two metres from your home.
    • If your downspouts are connected to the sewer, they must be disconnected. In extreme rainfall, too much water running from downspouts to the sewer can cause sewer backups. Learn more on the Utilities Kingston website.
    • Do not store your important documents in the basement. Keep them at a higher level, protected from flood damage.
    • Consider installing a sump pump and a backwater valve to help prevent sewage from backing up into your basement. Utilities Kingston offers up to $3000 in support to cover eligible plumbing costs to prevent floods, even if you have not had a problem before. Learn more information about their Preventative Plumbing Program.

  • Take precautions to safeguard electrical, natural gas or propane heating equipment.
  • If there is enough time, consult your electricity or fuel supplier for instructions on how to proceed.
  • Keep your emergency kit

  • DO NOT try to turn off your electricity if water is present. Doing so can be extremely dangerous. If water is present, leave your home immediately and do not return until authorities say it is safe to do so.
  • Do not go into a flooded basement. Wait for a professional to say it is safe. Utilities Kingston offers instructions on what to do if your basement has flooded. You can contact them online or call at 613-546-0000.

  • If an emergency official tells you to leave your home, go! Refusing to leave your home during an evacuation order not only puts you at serious risk, it puts emergency responders at risk if they need to rescue you.
  • Bring your emergency kit
  • Plan for your pet’s safety
  • If there is time, leave a note saying when you left and where you are going. Put it in your mailbox if you have one.

Never cross a flooded area

  • Flood waters can contain unseen hazards such as sewage or debris which can harm you or make you sick.
  • If you are on foot, avoid flooded areas as water can rise without warning and strong currents can sweep you away.
  • Do not drive through flooded areas or underpasses. The water might be deeper than you think and your car could get stuck or carried away by fast water.

  • Do not re-enter your home until emergency officials tell you it is safe to do so.
  • If your utilities were not turned off during evacuation, do not enter your home until your utilities have been inspected and declared safe by a professional.
  • Flood water can be heavily contaminated with sewage and pollutants. Do not eat plants from a garden that has been flooded. If your home is serviced by a well, do not drink the well water until it has been tested safe.

Cleaning up your property

  • Keep children and pets away from contaminated areas during cleanup.
  • Use gloves, masks and other protective gear.
  • Remove water from your flooded home slowly. Drain it in stages - about one third of the volume daily. If the ground is still saturated and water is removed too quickly, the walls or the floor could buckle.
  • Use pumps or pails to remove standing water, then a wet/dry shop vacuum to mop up the rest.
  • Carpets that have been soaked in sewer or flood water should be disposed of immediately.
  • All insulation materials, particleboard furniture, mattresses, box springs, stuffed toys, pillows, padding, cushions and furniture coverings that have been exposed to flood water should be disposed of.
  • Consult a professional for any items you wish to salvage.
  • Break out walls and remove drywall, wood panelling and insulation at least 50 cm (20 inches) above the high-water line.
  • If mould is present, you may need to have your home professionally cleaned. Your insurance agent can provide you with more information.

Getting rid of waste

Large items, construction materials and heavy waste will not be taken with normal waste collection. Instead, these items should be taken to different waste disposal locations (fees might apply).

    • Progressive Waste Solutions, 1266 McAdoo's Lane, 613-548-4428.
    • Kimco Steel Sales Limited, 1325 John Counter Boulevard, 613-542-1822.
    • Waste Management Canada, 62 St. Remy Place, 613-549-7401.
    • Westendorp Disposal, 1709 Westbrook Road, 613-384-8555.


  • Close all windows and doors. Secure loose objects outside so they don't get blown around.
  • Stay away from windows as large hail can break them.
  • Disconnect electrical appliances, such as radios, TVs, computers, etc. as they can conduct electricity.
  • Get to the basement or main level of your house if it is a severe storm.
  • If caught outside when lightning is present, do not lie flat but squat low to the ground.
  • Take shelter in a building or depressed area such as a dry ditch or culvert. Do not take cover under trees.
  • Avoid handling metal, electrical equipment and telephones.
  • Do not use water faucets or any water connected to a plumbing system. Lightning can follow wires and pipes.
  • If swimming or in a boat, get back to shore immediately.
  • If you are in a car, stay there.


  • Go to the basement or take shelter in a small interior ground floor room, such as a bathroom or closet. Protect yourself by taking shelter under a heavy table or desk.
  • Stay away from windows, outside walls and doors.
  • If outside, take cover in a ditch or recessed area.

Keep your pets safe

Extreme weather does not just impact us—it can affect our pets too. Learn more about how to keep your furry friends safe in both extreme cold and hot weather.

The City of Kingston acknowledges that we are on the traditional homeland of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee and the Huron-Wendat, and thanks these nations for their care and stewardship over this shared land.

Today, the City is committed to working with Indigenous peoples and all residents to pursue a united path of reconciliation.

Learn more about the City's reconciliation initiatives.

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