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Archived - What to expect if you’re volunteering for flood preparations

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April 20, 2019
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Are you interested in volunteering to help in flood affected areas? Volunteers are currently being sought to help prepare sandbags and to support residents along the Ottawa River who may face flooding.

Here’s what to expect when you come on-site to help out:

Getting ready to volunteer

Before you come, please make sure you’re dressed and equipped appropriately. This includes:

  • Weather-appropriate clothing that may get dirty, wet, or damaged
  • Long-sleeved shirts and long pants
  • Work gloves if you have them, otherwise they can be provided
  • Close-toed footwear (ideally steel-toed boots)
  • Water and snacks. (Lunch will be provided.)
  • Volunteers must be at least 12 years of age. Volunteers under 18 years must be supervised by an adult or legal guardian

Registration and check-in

When you arrive, you’ll see City of Ottawa signage for registration. Follow the signage to the sign-in area.

If this is your first time volunteering for this emergency response, you’ll be asked to fill out some paperwork. After you’re done, you will receive a bracelet to show that you’ve registered.

If you’ve already volunteered and are returning, check-in at the registration area and show them your bracelet. You won’t have to fill out paperwork again.

Getting to work

Once you check-in, the City of Ottawa’s partner, Ottawa Volunteer Search and Rescue (OVSAR), will assign you a task. Ottawa Volunteer Search and Rescue representatives wear fluorescent yellow jackets or vests and are easily identifiable. Team Rubicon Canada will also be assisting on location. They are identifiable by their red sweaters and red hats with the Team Rubicon identifiers.

Your work could include preparing sandbags or assisting with clean-up, once clean-up activities begin.

Checking out

When you are finished for the day, please check-out with an Ottawa Volunteer Search and Rescue representative. This will ensure organizers are aware of which volunteers are still on-site, and who is no longer working.

Thank you to all of the volunteers that have been helping their neighbours and our communities. Your support is greatly appreciated!

For more information on City programs and services, visit or call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401). You can also connect with us through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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