The changing climate is affecting many aspects of our lives in New Brunswick. Early adaptation to climate change impacts is critical in avoiding much higher future costs to resolve issues around human health and safety, damage to communities and infrastructures and impacts or changes to our natural resources. Taking adaptation actions minimizes the negative impacts of climate change (e.g., preparing for flood or water scarcity) and provides us with potential opportunities (i.e planting crops earlier or growing more valuable heat intensive crops). Adaptation measures are therefore critical to help maintain and enhance our province’s economic competitiveness, the well-being of New Brunswickers and resilience of communities.
Across the province, communities are developing Climate Change Adaptation Plans that address current and future climate impacts with adaptation measures best-suited to resolve identified climate vulnerabilities. Preparing proactively for climate impacts is more effective and less expensive than responding after a climate-related event has damaged homes, community infrastructure, public infrastructure, economic and cultural installations and assets. Below is a list of examples on climate preparedness one can consider taking to adapt to a changing climate:
Staying Ahead of Flooding
- Find out if your community has a Climate Change Adaptation Plan, and if so, whether its recommendations are being implemented.
- Find out if your home is at risk from flooding and if so, take steps to protect it against damage.
- Find out about new by-laws and regulations on land-use planning that address climate change in your community.
- Develop a household emergency plan that includes a flood event.
- Have emergency supplies on hand in the case of a power outage or if a flood occurs.
- Avoid carpets in basements or ground floors. Ceramic tile is more resilient to flooding. Saturated soils can flood a basement so ensure utilities-type installations such as hot water tanks, electrical panels and appliances are raised off the floor sufficiently to accommodate water entry.
- Consider installing a back-flow prevention value to provide protection from stormwater or sewerage water entering the home.
- Ensure all infrastructure and installations are located above extreme worst case historical and projected flood elevations.
For more information on how to prepare in the event of a flood, please visit the Government of New Brunswick’s Emergency Measures Organization website.
High Winds and Rainstorms
- Renew and repair your roof's condition; replace loose shingles or other roofing materials in disrepair.
- Renew or replace windows in poor condition.
- Repair weak or unstable brickwork especially chimneys.
- Remove or prune large trees. Branches in poor condition may threaten your property if brought down in a storm.
- Check for poor drainage around your house and grade all ground against your foundation, and other parts of your lot such as parking areas, away from your home and outbuildings containing valuable equipment;
- If you have a sump pump, check it regularly and consider a generator to maintain protection during power outages.
Heat and Drought Stress
- Promote some shade of south facing window areas using trees or install shade awnings, shutters, sails or blinds.
- Use lots of mulch on any cultivated areas to reduce the need for watering.
- Stay cool when the weather heats up. For more information on how to prepare for extreme heat, visit GNB’s Heat Alert and Response System (HARS) website.
- Plant a diverse range of plants such as deep-rooted perennials and avoid those that require extra watering.
- Install water-saving devices such as dual or low-flush toilets, tap aerators, and low flow shower heads.
- Upgrade your washing machine to a front-loader or high-efficiency model, washing full loads only.
- When conditions are extremely dry, industrial and recreational activities should follow forest fire hazard levels and be vigilant to reduce fire hazard risks.
- As temperatures increase, the environment can become more suitable for ticks. Increase your resilience to tick-and lyme diseases when outdoors by learning how to prevent tick bites.
- Be informed about the presence of blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) in your area. Blue-green algae is a naturally occurring bacteria found in aquatic ecosystem. As temperatures increase in the summer, it is important to consider the potential risks of exposure to blue-green algae when enjoying the outdoors with your loved ones and pets.