Government of New Brunswick

Since the effects of climate change cannot be stopped completely in the short term, it is important that measures be taken and adjustments are made to adapt to these changes. People in New Brunswick are already adapting to existing and anticipated effects of climate change. Here are some examples of actions members of the public can consider taking to adapt to a changing climate:



Creating a more flood-proof home:

  • Find out if your property is at risk from river or coastal flooding and if so, take steps to protect it against damage.
  • Develop a household emergency plan, this would include flood events.
  • Have emergency supplies on hand and a plan for leaving the area if a flood occurs.
  • Avoid carpets in basements or ground floors. Ceramic tiles are more resilient.
  • Raise electrical sockets to at least 1 m above floor level.
  • Raise electrical panel above flood line.
  • Fit non-return valves to floor drains.

Being prepared for a flood:

  • Store important documents or items of high personal value upstairs (e.g. certificates, diplomas, birth certificates, passports, wills, photographs, property ownership documents, mortgage documents) or on high shelves, not in the basement.
  • Have some emergency food on hand, select non-perishable items, such as food in tins; ones that open with a ring-pull are best.
  • Know where and how to shut off your home's electricity, gas and water.
  • Have a plan for how pets will be managed if a flood occurs, do you have pet carriers?
  • Your address book or list of phone contacts will be very important if a flood occurs. Know where it is and keep it handy and safe, consider making a copy of the most important details in case one gets lost, keep copies at a friend or relatives house, preferably one that is at lower risk of a flood
  • Make an inventory of your household contents, including digital photos of the main items; this will be useful if you have an insurance claim.
  • Have batteries available for all common devices.

Things to put in a bag (a completely waterproof canoe dry bag is a good option for this or a plastic bag that can be sealed against water), keep this bag handy so that if a flood occurs you can just grab it and go.

  • Radio and flashlight (consider crank operated models)
  • Medications, prescriptions
  • Address book and contacts including insurance company, utility companies
  • Toiletries
  • Change of clothes, waterproof clothing
  • Emergency blankets, fleece clothing that stays warm when wet
  • Water and high-energy food such as nuts, chocolate bars
  • A first aid kit

Add your mobile phone, PDA, laptop to your emergency bag when you leave.


Other Weather-Related Threats

Wind and storm

The following actions are prudent at any time. Future climate predictions for New Brunswick suggest more winter rain events, and possibly more intense tropical cyclones (hurricanes) affecting the region.

  • Check your house over for vulnerability to high winds and driving rain.
  • Renew and repair your roof if it is in poor condition, replace loose shingles or other roofing materials.
  • 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.

Rainstorm and freeze/thaw

Climate predictions indicate that winter freeze/thaw cycles will become more frequent, and more rainfall will occur in short, high-intensity storms, which cause greater erosion and runoff.

  • Check for poor drainage around your house, damaged or blocked culverts or cracked foundations, Improve via landscaping and grading, installing drains and gullies, and diverting surface water away from house foundations.
  • If you have a sump pump, check it regularly and consider a generator to maintain protection during power outages.
  • Consider driveway and parking area surfaces that allow water infiltration, as opposed to asphalt.

Heat and drought stress

Climate predictions suggest hot (over 30C) and very hot days (over 35C) will occur more often in future. Water availability is likely to decline, due to higher evaporation.

  • Plant a diverse range of plants for use in landscaping, use deep-rooted perennials, and avoid those that require extra watering.
  • Promote some shade of south facing window areas using annual or deciduous plants such as vines, or install shade awnings, shutters, sails or blinds.
  • Use lots of mulch on any cultivated areas to reduce the need for watering.

Water supply

Climate predictions indicate water availability will be reduced in future, as runoff and evaporation both increase. Taking steps to reduce water use will reduce pressure on supplies.

  • 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, wash full loads only.
  • Wash cars using a bucket, not a hose.