Downtown West Community Association
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Flood Preparedness

Flood Readiness

Message from the City of Calgary

June 2013.  Near 4 Ave SW & 10 St SW

AS OF MAY 3, 2018

All about the 2018 flood readiness campaign & the actions taken to become a more flood-resilient city. 

It's important to note that:

  • The most important factor in flooding is heavy rainfall upstream of Calgary. These events are challenging to forecast, with Calgary in close proximity to the mountains. We can usually see large rain events about 5-7 days in advance, but we may only have 24 hours (or less!) to prepare.
  • A high snowpack alone does not cause our rivers to flood. The snowpack in the mountains has been higher than average this year, however with the lower spring temperatures in the mountains, the snow is melting slower than on the prairies. 
  • At this point, the long-term forecast indicates this spring will be cooler than normal with normal precipitation. The City and Province continuously monitor for conditions that can develop into flood events. 

Since 2013, together with the Province, we have committed over $150 million towards projects that will reduce our risk of river flood damage. We have also strengthened our understanding of the flow of the Bow and Elbow Rivers, how rivers change, flood modelling, forecasting, preparedness and response. 

While we have worked to reduce our risk of river flood damage, we cannot eliminate the risk of flooding entirely. River flooding impacts all Calgarians who live, work, commute, or recreate in the city centre or along the Bow and Elbow Rivers.  Citizens have a critical role to play in preparing for river flooding.  Our 2018 Flood Readiness Campaign aims to educate Calgarians about how to understand their flood risk, be prepared and stay informed.

Be on the lookout for the following activities and events:

  • Disaster Alley - May 5
  • Report to Calgarians - airing May 14 to May 20
  • Flood season campaign launch - week of May 14
  • Flood Readiness open house for Bow River communities at Foothills Academy  - May 15, 7pm
  • Councillor Farkas’s Flood Readiness Townhall for Elbow River communities - May 17, 7pm
  • Digital advertising, promotion, and social media
  • Monthly City News blog posts (April - July) at
    • snowpack and flood risk 
    • personal preparedness
    • mitigation projects 
    • climate change and flood risk
  • Biweekly flood e-newsletter (May to July) - subscribe at
  • A video series featuring residents who have taken actions to become flood-resilient
  • Updates to flood website

You can also:

  • Prepare your 72-hour emergency kit. This kit holds supplies to support you and your family for three days in an emergency situation.
  • Visit Alberta Environment’s river basin website and download the river monitoring app by searching for "Alberta Rivers" on your device.
  • Listen for and sign up for Alberta Emergency Alerts (AEA). As well, you can download the AEA app to a smart device to receive notifications.