Transition Brockville archive

Tag : Emergency preparedness (33)

2016 broke record for damage caused by natural disasters

Toronto Star / Peter Goffin / 09 January 2017

Canada’s insurance industry is calling on all levels of government to improve climate-change preparedness, after a record-breaking year of damage caused by natural disasters.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada says $4.9 billion in insurable damage was caused by natural disasters such as wildfires, floods and ice storms across the country in 2016.

It’s the most ever in a single year.

Damage costs have increased steadily since the 1980s, says the IBC.

They are expected to keep growing.


Canada not ready for climate change, report warns

Globe and Mail / Shawn McCarthy / 30 October 2016

norris-armThe insurance industry is particularly concerned about rising costs for flood and other weather-related disasters, including this year’s devastating fire in Fort McMurray, Alta. Payouts have soared and seven of the past eight years have seen insured costs from natural disasters exceeding $1-billion.

Prof. Feltmate’s report surveyed each province and the Yukon on 12 factors related to preparedness to limit flood damage. They included flood-plain mapping and land-use planning; the availability of home adaptation audits and commercial property; and climate-related assessments of transportation, energy, drinking water and sewage systems.


Expert report: Energy East spill impact analysis for our region

Council of Canadians / 05 October 2016

ee-report-oct-2016In this report, Savaria Expert-Conseils Inc. evaluates the impacts of a petroleum hydrocarbons spill from TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline in the main watercourses of the Ottawa-Gatineau region.

The proposed Energy East pipeline would pass through the south end of the City of Ottawa. It would cross 68 watercourses in the Mississippi and Rideau watersheds, including those two rivers. Both of these rivers are major tributaries of the Ottawa River.

Highlights from the report include:

  • A spill from the proposed Energy East pipeline could have a direct impact on the drinking water sources for the cities of Gatineau and Ottawa, which are 52 km and 60 km away from river crossings for the Mississippi River and Rideau River respectively.
  • A spill from the proposed Energy East pipeline could have impacts on aquatic ecosystems, recreational activities and economic activity (e.g. tourism).
  • The pipeline goes through the Baxter Conservation Area and other wetlands, where a spill could cause irreversible damage to those ecosystems.
  • A catastrophic spill could dump up to 23 million litres into the rivers within two hours.
  • Cleaning up a major spill could cost up to $1 billion.
  • Case study: 250,000 litres of heavy oil were spilled in the North Saskatchewan River and travelled over 500 km downstream.
  • Case study: 3.3 million litres of oil were spilled in the Kalamazoo River (Michigan) and travelled at least 60 km downstream.


Counties conduct table-top emergency response exercise

Kemptville Advance / 29 September 2016

emerg_exerciseA table-top emergency exercise simulating widespread tornado damage and extreme weather striking the region has recently been completed by a majority of municipalities in Leeds and Grenville.

More than 75 emergency response officials, including police, fire, health, Counties and municipal staff from Leeds and Grenville municipalities, responded to a mock severe weather episode with tornados, down bursts and funnel clouds impacting several municipalities and the City of Brockville. Injured and trapped people, as well as a fatal, multi-vehicle accident and a potential chemical spill at the juncture of Highways 401 and 416, added to the severity of the emergency exercise.


Why a “modern” can’t understand the risks we face

Resource Insights / Kurt Cobb / 08 May 2016

Mandelpart2_redPROCIn my previous piece, I discussed why it is useless to argue with a person clinging to what I called the “religion” of modernism. I summarized four main tenets of the modern outlook as follows:

  1. Humans are in one category and nature is in another.
  2. Scale doesn’t matter.
  3. History can be safely ignored since modern society has seen through the delusions of the past.
  4. Science is a unified, coherent field that explains the rational principles by which we can manage the physical world.

These assumptions make modern humans particularly susceptible to becoming captives of the bell curve. Our understanding of risk is mediated by a misleading picture of regularity in the physical world and in human society. Moderns believe that nearly all risks–and certainly the nontrivial ones relating to our survival as species–can be easily calculated and managed.


How close are you to oil trains and a derailment disaster?

Oil Train Blast Zone


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The Transition Framework

Inner Transition is occasionally overlooked in favour of more immediately ‘practical’ undertakings, reinforcing an observed and acknowledged division in many Transition Initiatives between “doers” and “talkers”, but for Transition Initiatives looking to foster a kind of community resilience that is equitable, inclusive, nimble, responsive, caring, and cohesive, Inner Transition efforts are a necessary place to start.

— Anne Rucchetto, Blake Poland
TB Projects

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