Leave a Reply

Prepare for Extreme Weathers to Come - Tomorrow's Dream
Prepare for Extreme Weathers to Come

Prepare for Extreme Weathers to Come

Toronto anticipates facing elevated temperatures and increased heat events in the coming years. Projections suggest that by 2040-2050, the city could encounter around 66 days with maximum temperatures exceeding 30°C.

Given the unpredictable nature of extreme weather, which can occur without much warning, it is crucial for both residents and businesses to align their efforts with the city’s initiatives aimed at enhancing overall resilience to climate change and extreme weather conditions. It’s essential for people to:

Know the possible impacts and risks of extreme weather

Take action in weather-proofing your homes to protect yourself and your family

Be aware and access the provided prorams, resources, and subsidies available to be better prepared.

Download and Check the WeatherCAN App for Updates

Environment and Climate Change Canada has introduced the WeatherCAN mobile app (opens in a new window), offering Canadians direct access to dependable weather information. The app is accessible for free on both Google Play and the Apple stores.

Be Prepared by Weatherproofing Your Homes

Enhancing the energy efficiency of your home not only increases comfort but also lowers energy consumption, reducing costs and emissions contributing to climate change. Extreme temperatures can elevate energy use and bills. Toronto, along with various organizations, extends incentives to homeowners, including grants and low-interest loans for upgrades like energy-efficient furnaces, windows, doors, and insulation. Toronto Hydro offers programs and tips to promote energy savings and eco-friendly choices.

Green roofs, beyond mitigating stormwater runoff, also cut energy use, decrease heating/cooling expenses, cool the air, and provide vital wildlife habitats. The City’s Eco-Roof Incentive Program financially supports homeowners in installing green or cool roofs.

Trees, in addition to offering shade and aiding in air cooling and purification, play a crucial role in flood prevention and enhance our surroundings. The City offers free tree planting on the road allowance next to your property.

Extreme Rain Leading to Floods

Toronto has witnessed numerous record-breaking rainfalls in recent years, leading to flooding and significant damage to public and private properties, along with disruptions to public utilities, roads, transportation networks, and the natural environment. Flooding incidents can also be triggered by the melting of snow and ice.

For instance, the record rainfall on July 8, 2013, resulted in widespread flooding, extensive power outages, and an estimated $850 million in insurance claims from residents and businesses across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

Projections indicate that by 2050, Toronto’s maximum daily rainfall is anticipated to more than double, increasing from today’s 66 mm to 166 mm.

Be Vigilant

There are risk factors present when there is extreme rain; this includes:

  • Basement floods
  • Damage and flooding in public and private properties; this includes ravines, roadways, and parks
  • Disruption in public utilities and transit systems
  • Power outages that disrupts a city’s sewer, water, and transport systems

Steps to Take Now

Here are the steps that you can do when emergencies caused by weather happens:

Step 1: Find emergency help immediately

Create an emergency kit and plan, ensuring all members of your family are familiar with the necessary steps to take during an emergency.

Step 2: Examine your insurance policy

Whether you are a homeowner or renter, thoroughly review your insurance policy or engage in a conversation with your provider. Ensure that your coverage is sufficient and that you have a clear understanding of what is included and excluded. Prepare for possible basement flooding and check if you’re qualified for a basement subsidy to ease the burden of the offset costs.

Step 3: Lessen your risk of a flooding basement

Create a rain garden or plant trees in your vicinity. Encourage tree planting in your area and ensure that the trees in your place are well maintained and healthy. This can effectively act as a barrier during the storm, and if you can manage, install a green roof or take a green roof grant.

What to Do During These Moments?

Familiarize yourself with the City’s Emergency Preparedness information to ensure you are aware of the necessary actions to take in the event of an extreme rain or flooding occurrence.

Ice and Snow Storms and Extreme Cold

Severe weather conditions such as heavy snowfalls, freezing rain, sleet, hail, high winds, and extreme cold pose threats to public health and safety. They can cause damage and disruptions to transportation systems and other infrastructure, as well as result in downed trees and power lines. Extreme Cold Weather Alerts are issued by Toronto Public Health, so explore additional information on the health effects of extremely cold weather and related statistics.

What You Can Do Today

Enhancing the energy efficiency of your home not only increases comfort but also decreases energy consumption and costs, as well as lowers emissions contributing to climate change. The City provides low-interest loans for upgrades like energy-efficient furnaces, windows, doors, and insulation through its Energy Efficiency Incentives for Homeowners program.

Surviving a Cold Event

Check the City’s Emergency Preparedness information to ensure you are well-informed about actions to take during an extreme cold event. Throughout the winter season (November to April), consult the PlowTO Map to observe how the City maintains safe conditions for motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians on roads and sidewalks. The PlowTO Map provides information on when roads have been salted and plowed in Toronto.

Extreme Wind Conditions

Powerful winds, particularly gusty ones, have the potential to inflict damage on property, transform unsecured objects into hazardous projectiles, and create unsafe conditions for both walking and driving. A wind warning is declared when winds are consistently blowing at 60-65 km/h or higher, or gusting at 90 km/h or more.

While the majority of tornadoes in Canada have maximum wind speeds below 180 km/h, some can be significantly stronger, resulting in extensive property damage. Ontario and Quebec witness an average of about 17 tornadoes each year, with the peak occurring from June through August. Tornadoes are typically preceded by severe thunderstorms, dark skies, and heavy rainfall. Although they commonly form in the late afternoon and early evening, tornadoes can occur at any time, including overnight.

In the event of impending severe weather, we will issue alerts in the affected areas. Examine the Emergency Preparedness information provided by the city as well to ensure you are familiar with the necessary actions to take in advance during an extreme wind event.

James Knox