The 1974 Southern Manitoba Spring Flood Response

Hannigan, John A.
Kueneman, Rodney M.
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Disaster Research Center
The most cogent feature of the 1974 Manitoba flood response was the highly developed nature of the disaster sub-culture which exists within a wide spectrum of government organizations and departments within the province. While this can be seen as being, in large part, a function of a continuing yearly flood threat, nevertheless the Manitoba response was not only particularly well organized, but was developed on an anticipatory rather than an emergent basis. The Manitoba response was especially notable in five areas: 1)careful monitoring of weather and water level and flow conditions, 2)adequate warning to threatened municipalities, 3)precise definition of flood tasks per an explicit disaster plan, 4)pre-existing lists of resources available during a time of emergency, and 5) provision of a high level of autonomy and financial resources for the flood control operation. The Flood Forecast Committee was found to carefully monitor the environment each spring to determine the possibilities of flooding that year. As required, various levels of flood response activity correspond with the gravity of the threat as determined by the Committee's forecasts. In 1974, this allowed serious preparations for flooding to begin a month in advance of the actual event, and the flood headquarters to be set up three weeks in advance.
response , Spring Flood , Southern Manitoba , Flood Response Committee