Dr. McBean at the ACT Extreme Weather report release event

The author of ACT’s Extreme Weather report, Policy Chair of the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction and University of Western Ontario professor Dr. Gordon McBean, has been awarded the Order of Ontario – congratulations, Gordon!

The news release cites his expertise as a leading scientist and authority on climate change and natural disasters. Dr. McBean was also quoted today in the Globe & Mail article, Australia flooding considered ominous sign of disasters to come, describing the intensity of the rainfall as “a ‘wall of water’ that would soak a person to the skin the moment they stepped outside.”

His recommendations for local and provincial policy approaches to adaptation to extreme weather here in Canada in the ACT Extreme Weather report include the following:

  • Incorporate climate adaptation as a priority in official community plans.
  • Ensure that resilience to future risk is anticipated in new development by requiring climate adaptation planning as a precondition for development approvals.
  • Prioritize actions to reduce vulnerability of existing infrastructure.
  • Undertake an integrated approach to infrastructure and land-use planning, designing within nature‚Äôs limits; distributing infrastructure such that it is not singularly vulnerable to extreme weather events; and recovering water, energy and other resources rather than relying on new supplies that can be affected by extreme events.
  • Plan and test procedures to evacuate people from areas at risk, to minimize the exposure of residents during an emergency.
  • Plan for the continuity of municipal services during an emergency and for increased demand from residents.
  • Establish a public hazard education program to inform citizens and key stakeholders about extreme weather events and the protective measures they should take to reduce their vulnerability.