Climate resilience refers to efforts to reduce our vulnerability to the effects of climate change effects and to maximize its potential benefits.
Kingston climate projections for 2050 show (base year is 2010):
- Average summer temperatures will increase by 3.2°C and average winter ones by 4.1°C.
- Number of days/yr when the temperature is greater than 30°C will increase from 4 to 30.
- The number of Cooling Degree Days (CDD) will increase from 280 to 61. CDD measures the need for air conditioning.
- The number of Heating Degree Days (HDD) will reduce from 3984 to 3096. HDD measures the need for heating.
- The average spring rainfall will increase by 128 mm (about 50%).
- A 50% increase in the number of freezing rain events lasting 6 hours or longer.
- A 15% to 20% increase in the number of days with wind gusts greater than 90 kph.
These climate changes will impact our personal lives as well as our workplaces.
What will you do to become more climate resilient?
Be prepared for emergencies
Visit the City of Kingston Emergency Management page and review Get Ready Kingston: Personal Emergency Preparedness Guide to learn about:
- Kingston's risks and hazards;
- How to create a household disaster plan;
- Assemble a Household Emergency Supply Kit, and
- Assemble a Go Bag.
Understand and manage health risks.
Extreme Heat and Cold: Extreme cold can lead to hypothermia and frostbite. Extreme heat can lead to a variety of heat illnesses including heat stroke as well as respiratory illnesses that are made worse by the heat. Visit the Extreme Weather page and learn about:
- Locations to warm up, cool down and get water close to your home (map provides facility name, address and phone number).
- What temperature conditions lead to a heat/cold alert, warning and emergency
Vector Borne Diseases like West Nile Virus and Lyme Disease:
The changing climate is increasing the rates of West Nile and Lyme Disease in our community
Lyme Disease: the Kingston area is at high risk for Lyme Disease contracted from ticks. Visit the KFL&A Public Health's Lyme Disease page.
West Nile Virus: learn about West Nile Virus in our region at KFL&A Public Health's West Nile Virus fact sheet (how to tell if a mosquito bite is serious and how to protect yourself).
Prepare for power/utility failures.
Extreme weather (i.e. wind, freezing rain and snow) may cause power failure. Review the Get Ready Kingston: Personal Emergency Preparedness Guide to understand what you need to prepare for a utilities disruption emergency. Visit the Utilities Disruption page to learn about power failures, gas leaks, basement flooding as well as water and sewer issues.
Guard against and prepare for flooding
Extreme weather may lead to flood conditions.
The Cataraqui Regional Conservation Authority (CRCA) monitors weather information, river flows, snow pack and ice conditions in order to predict when floods will occur and how high the water may rise. If flooding is possible, the CRCA issues flood messages. Visit the CRCA Flood Forecasting page to learn what the flood messages are and what they mean.
Visit Utilities Kingston's what to do if your basement floods page to learn how to deal with a flooded basement. Consider immediate risks including: electric shock, gas leaks, pollutants, chemicals, and structural damage.
Visit Utilities Kingston How to Protect Your Home from Basement Flooding page for a summary of issues and actions that you can take to reduce your risk of basement flooding.
Know how to avoid and deal with water shortages.
The Cataraqui Regional Conservation Authority (CRCA) can declare three levels of low water conditions:
- Level 1 – First indication of a potential water supply problem; 10% voluntary conservation by the public is requested
- Level 2 – More severe condition; 20 % voluntary conservation by the public is requested.
- Level 3 – Indicates failure of the water supply to meet the demand
Visit the CRCA's Water Wise page for general good practice water efficiency information as well as specific resources to provide guidance during low water conditions including:
- Managing your well in times of water shortage
- How to prepare for agriculture irrigation during water shortage
Utilities Kingston provides potable water to residents within the serviced area of the municipality. During the summer there is an increased demand for water (i.e. pools lawns and plants, car washing). To ensure an adequate supply, the City has summer water use restrictions from June 15 to September 15. Learn how you can be water wise: visit the Utilities Kingston Summer Water Use page and review the Water Use Bylaw.
Build resilience in the workplace
Businesses must assess risk in order to stay viable. The changing climate – including warming temperatures and an increased frequency of extreme weather events (i.e. rain, wind, drought and freezing rain) – pose potential risks to business.
It is important to understand the risks your organization is facing and how to address vulnerabilities. New business opportunities may also be available as new climate conditions are understood.
Visit the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions' (C2ES) Building Business Resilience to a Changing Climate: Weathering the Storm to understand key risks to business and learn more about these steps:.
- Build Awareness: educate employees at all levels about the need to build the adaptive capacity to manage risk in the long term.
- Assess Vulnerabilities: Determine the threat that climate disruption poses to core operations, supplies, employees, customers and key services.
- Manage Risk and Pursue Opportunities: Fortify or relocate infrastructure, plan for changes and review supply chain vulnerabilities.
- Review Risk Assessments: Review risks and opportunities regularly and develop adaptive risk management plans.
More climate resilience resources.
These pages also offer more specific climate resilience/adaptation resources for workplaces:
- National Roundtable on the Environment and Economy: Managing the Business risks and opportunities of a changing climate
- Infrastructure Health and Safety Association for workplace heat stress information including:
- Extreme Heat Guidelines: A Technical Guide for Health Care Workers.
- Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food: Climate Change and Agriculture
- Ontario Centre for Climate Impacts and Adaptation Resources