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ICLR releases new book addressing extreme heat events


December 20, 2016   by Canadian Underwriter


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The Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR) has published a book addressing the risk to Canadians from extreme heat events.

Toronto panorama at sunsetCities to adapt to extreme heat: Celebrating local leadership profiles “20 of the many successful local projects underway or already completed in communities across the country that are adapting to better address the risks associated with extreme heat,” ICLR said in a press release on Tuesday.

Seven experts from the ICLR and Health Canada authored the report, which contains mini case studies that showcase successful local actions that “can and should be used by communities across the country to confront the challenge of extreme heat events,” the release said. The 20 communities profiled in the book include: Winnipeg, Man.; Hamilton, Ont.; Gatineau, Que.; Leduc, Alta.; Vancouver, B.C.; Middlesex-London, Ont.; Fredericton, N.B.; Sherbrooke, Que.; Ottawa, Ont.; Montreal, Que.; Kingston, Ont.; Toronto, Ont.; Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie, Que.; Oxford County, Ont.; Sudbury, Ont.; Melita, Man.; Peel Region, Ont.; Windsor, Ont.; Surrey, B.C.; and the City of North Vancouver, B.C.

The 20 cases were chosen because they are innovative, and, in the opinion of the authors, could inform efforts in communities across the country, the release explained. Some of the actions profiled in the book include issuing targeted warnings; opening cooling centres in public facilities such as libraries, community centres and public pools; providing water for those in need; educating the public; planting trees and other actions to cool urban environments and reduce urban heat islands.

“Over the next 25 years, it is likely that many, and perhaps most, Canadians will experience high temperatures dangerous to their health,” said Paul Kovacs, executive director of ICLR and one of the report authors. “Fortunately, efforts are underway to address the health risks of extreme heat in a number of communities across the country. Public health officials as well as city and regional governments are adapting to prepare for changes in the climate and developing strategies to protect people’s health during extreme heat events. In Cities adapt, we celebrate these actions with the hopes that other communities in Canada and elsewhere, learn from them and use them to design programs of their own.”

The book can be downloaded for free in its entirety at http://www.iclr.org/images/Cities_Adapt_to_Extreme_Heat_online.compressed.pdf.

Established in 1998 by Canada’s property and casualty insurers, ICLR is an independent, not-for-profit research institute based in Toronto and at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ont. ICLR is a centre of excellence for disaster loss prevention research and education.