Flood survival: The best and worst cities in Canada ranked
Friday, May 22, 2015, 11:01 AM - Ottawa is ahead of the game in flood preparedness, according to a new study released on Thursday.
Published by The Co-operators, the study was designed to motivate Canadian cities to increase efforts to limit flood risk, which according to the report, The Insurance Bureau of Canada identifies as the most costly factor affecting catastrophic losses in the housing sector within Canada.
Researchers examined 15 Canadian cities on preparedness for flooding caused by extreme rainfall in relation to 16 areas of flood vulnerability. Each city was assessed on a scale from A (highest preparation score) to E (lowest).
Sixty city officials participated in the survey and shared their perspectives between January and April of 2015.
Cities showed strength in flood preparedness in four key areas including: residential backwater valves, flood plain mapping, land use planning and urban drainage.
The report also outlined several outstanding challenges facing cities including: retail food supply, banking and financial services, and petroleum and electricity supply.
“Flooding is by far the most common type of natural disaster in Canada, and there is a wide range of actions that can be taken to build a city’s resilience to its destructive force,” Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of The Co-operators said in a news release. “This is a valuable piece of research that can serve as a benchmark and a resource for all Canadian cities, to help motivate them to step up their efforts to protect people and property from flooding.”
Now that the installation of backwater valves for new home construction is mandatory, the study notes this is an effective way to combat the growing problem of sewer back-up. Another area of strength is the development of up-to-date flood plain maps, which most cities have initiated to help predict the extent of storm-related flood coverage.
This study is part of a three part research project. The first phase, published in 2013, measured ways to better protect Canadian homeowners from the increasing risk of overland flooding. Phase II of the project identified areas where action could most effectively reduce flooding.
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