New Brunswick Receives Grade Of C- In Flood Preparedness

Posted on Monday, October 31, 2016 13:42 PM

New Brunswick has scored a C- when it comes to flood preparedness in a report from the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation at the University of Waterloo.

The province scored high on things like emergency response and mitigating the flood risk for the electricity supply, but low on offering programs to limit flooding on commercial properties and drainage for watercourses.

The Conservation Council of New Brunswick wants to see storm planning move from response to prevention and everyone has to be involved according to the council's Louise Comeau.

"Governments need to set to set rules and enforce them, insurance companies need to help educate homeowners and businesses about...why you need to have an audit, why you need to take certain steps, and then citizens and businesses need to learn that they all have a role to play in making ourselves safe," says Comeau.

Comeau tells us because people have a very low level of risk awareness we need to educate ourselves.

"I had examples given to us where parents were putting their children on downed trees that were quite close to downed power lines, extremely dangerous situation," says Comeau. "With no understanding of the risks they were putting themselves in."

Comeau says we need to look at these big storms as a trend that's changing over time and figure out how we make our communities more resilient in the face of climate change.

The report found that the total estimated cost of floods for the province from 1970 to last year was $269-million. 

The average flood preparedness score across Canada is a C-.

British Columbia and P.E.I. got the worst score with a D. Ontario got the highest with a B-.