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Prevention and Mitigation - Session 1 October 29, 2008
Disasters and Climate Change Adaptation
Dan Sandink
Institute for Catastrophic Loss
Damage from disaster events in particular events relate to climate change.
non-insurable losses are also increasing
Flooding is the most common occurrence in Ontario, Quebec and the
maritime provinces
In the Prairies drought followed by flooding are the most common.
Drought is one of the most expensive. The cost of the 1980 prairie drought
cost in excess of $5.8 Billion
The 1998 Ice storm costs were estimated at $5.4 Billion
The three most expensive disasters for the Canadian Insurance industry
(between 1983 and 2005 was: the
o Ontario/Quebec Ice Storm $1.95 Billion
o August 19, 2005 Rainstorm Toronto $ 500 million
o 1991 Calgary Hailstorm $444 Million
There are a number of Vulnerability factors which affects the costs;
o Household income
o Population density
o Concentration of wealth
o Development in hazard prone areas
Alberta Issues
Drought most common Flood and Hail follows
Only Geophysical event was the Frank Slide
Drought will increase risk of wildfires 20 – 30% increase over next 60 years
Earlier spring/summer conditions will extend the fire season
Wildfires increase flood risk due to loss of vegetation
Flooding is the most significant risk for urban area
Results in increase on storm management systems
Infrastructure has been based on the assumption of a static climate (- in 100
year event)
Adaption is required
Adaptation will require multiple stakeholders
o Infrastructure, social issues environmental, land use
o Need to address vulnerability through behavior changes
1. Is the level of the water tables looked at for flood research
a. Not specifically. Over all saturation of the soil
2. Do we still seed the clouds to reduce the risk of hail?
a. Yes. The insurance industry provides funding
Adapting to Climate Change: Canada’s Infrastructure Challenge
James Geuzebroek
Insurance Bureau of Canada
Severe weather is occurring more frequently
Current models for predicting weather are outdated
o Saint John River in New Brunswick has had three 100 – year events in
the past 35 years
o Toronto area has had three 1 - 100 year events and five 1 – 50 year
events in the past 10 years
The 2005 Toronto rainstorm 6 inches of rail in 90 minutes resulted in
$500,million insurable losses
Common factor was infrastructure failure
There is a need to improve sewer and surface water system capacity
Aging infrastructure contributes to vulnerability
Need to improve building codes and land use issues
Need to engage the consumer through incentives
o Examples include retrofitting homes for sewer back up plugs
o Rain barrels for homes. This reduces water flow into sewer water
Consumer Assistance Mobile Pavilion
o Insurance industry becomes part of the early response to assist those
affected by disasters with insurance questions
o Interest was positive from municipal partners