Disaster Risk Reduction Under Current and Changing Climate

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Disaster Risk Reduction Under Current
and Changing Climate Conditions:
Important Roles for the NMHSs
Heather Auld
Adaptation and Impacts Research Division
Environment Canada
Toronto, Canada
Rising Disaster Losses Globally
Great Natural Disasters Worldwide 1950 – 2006
Economic and insured losses
200
180
Economic losses (2006 values)
160
Insured losses (2006 values)
Trend economic losses
US $Billions
140
120
100
Trend insured losses
80
60
40
20
0
1950
1955
1960
1965
1970
1975
1980
Year
1985
1990
1995
2000
2005
Causes of Rising Natural Disasters
Number of Disasters in EMDAT, 1900 – 2005
Increasing trends
have been most
dramatic for weatherrelated
eventsin
Global Trends
Frequency of Major
Natural Disasters
Hydrometeorological
Biological
Geological
Source: EM-DAT : The OFDA/CRED International Disaster Database.
http://www.em-dat.net, UCL - Brussels, Belgium
Disasters and the Growing “Adaptation Deficit”
Factors driving the “adaptation deficit”:
 Developed/developing countries have different drivers
 Increased wealth; More insured property; Greater populations
 Poverty; Development in higher risk locations
 Aging infrastructure; Sub-standard infrastructure
 Urbanization – dependence on infrastructure services
Nil or poor adaptation = Rising losses from
hydro-meteorological hazards
Vulnerability is also linked to the
Quality of the Environment
Unhealthy ecosystems can exacerbate some hazards to
the point that “by degrading forests, engineering
rivers, filling in wetlands, and destabilizing the
climate, we are unraveling the strands of a complex
ecological safety net.”
J. Abramovitz (2001)
Environmental Degradation and Disasters
Trends in number of counties with mud and rock
slides in Western China (1800-2000)
Encouraging Signs…
Disaster Risk Management
Because the costs of cleaning up and restoring
communities after disasters is so high, some countries
are closely looking as all aspects of disaster riskmanagement planning
NMHSs have important products and services
to contribute to disaster risk management.
Disaster/Emergency Management Systems
Hazards, Climatic
design values
Special
forecasts;
Risk
guidance
RISK
MANAGEMENT
CRISES
MANAGEMENT
Hazards:
Emergency
Planning
Forecasts &
Warnings;
improved Warning
systems
Before the Disaster:
Risk Management
Proactive – Reducing Vulnerabilities:
Forewarned is Forearmed
Mitigation/Prevention of Risks
 Hydrometeorological information for Design & Planning
 Learning from past failures and disasters
Preparedness
 Emergency and risk reduction planning
 Improving warning and emergency response systems
During and After the Disaster:
Crises Management
Reactive – Moving from Weather
Prediction to Risk Prediction
Emergency Response
 Timely and accurate weather warnings leading to action
 Monitoring and detection of hazards
Recovery
 Hazards risk guidance to rebuild communities
Before the Disaster:
Risk Management
Proactive – Reducing Vulnerabilities:
Forewarned is forearmed
Reduction/Mitigation of Risks
 Climatic
and hydrological design values for codes & standards
 Atmospheric and hydrological Hazards information
 Monitoring; Detection of changing climate/weather extremes
 Forensic studies--learning from disasters
Emergency Preparedness
 Hazards information for emergency and risk reduction planning
 Science to identify the most significant events, impacts
 Improved weather warning criteria; sensitive to responders
 Vigilance; Warnings linked to “Impacts Thresholds”
Proactive Design: Extremes and
Infrastructure Design
Warnings are a last line of defense… after other
prevention solutions, such as engineering design
practices, are applied to reduce the risk of an
event below an acceptable level.
Ideally, infrastructure is designed for selected
return period climate extremes …
Proactive: Climatic Design Information
Design Hourly Wind Speeds (km/hr)
National Building
Code of Canada and
various CSA
standards
50 year return period Design Wind Speeds (km/hr)
Disasters, Warnings and Impacts Thresholds…
Small Increases = Escalating Damages above Critical Thresholds
“small increases in weather and climate extremes have the
potential to bring large increases in damages to existing
infrastructure” … beyond critical thresholds
Climate Change could significantly impact infrastructure,
depending on robustness of existing climatic design values
Quality of Structures and Weather Impacts Thresholds
Some structure are more vulnerable than others:
The quality of construction and maintenance of structures
will strongly influence community vulnerability to hazards
Trends in Windstorm Disasters
Engineering codes and
standards need updated
climatic design values
EM-DAT International Database – Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED)
GCM Projected Changes in 24-hour
Return Period Rainfalls
100
2050
80
~ 75 mm
2050
1985
Size of Event (mm)
2090
1985
70
2090
90
1985
2050
2090
60
40 year
return
period
50
80 year
return
period
40
10
20
40
80
Recurrence time (years)
Projections of changes in average Canadian extreme 24-hour rainfall events
that can be expected to recur once every 10, 20, 40, or 80 years.
Proactive Emergency Response Planning
Although natural disasters are not
always predictable, they are most
often generally foreseeable …
Planning for risks…
Risk planning
requires
understanding of
frequencies of
hydrometeorological
events and their
expected changes
(Hurricane Katrina damages)
This website presents background material and map data for atmospheric hazards in Ontario. It has been
created by the Meteorological Service of Canada, Environment Canada, in cooperation with Emergency
Management Ontario, to assist municipalities in conducting their hazard identification and risk assessments
as required by Ontario's Emergency Management Act.
www.hazards.ca
What is it?
What data is in it?
How can I use it?
Look for many places
Look for a place by name
Important Notices and Disclaimers
This website is under continuous development.
Please visit us again, often.
Weather Hazard Risk Assessment
Ontario’s Emergency Management Act (Bill 148)
 Part of assessment involves assessment of risks
to weather hazards:
Fog
Heavy Rain
Hurricanes
Extreme Heat/Cold
Drought
Lightning
Heavy Snow
Wind Storms
Ice Storms
Tornadoes
Extreme Air Quality Events
Hazard and Impact Risk Assessment (HIRA)
Community Risk Assessment Grid
Source: EMO, 2003
Severe Thunderstorms: Hail
Extreme Snowfall Days/Year Exceeding 25cm (1971-2000)
Observed Tornadoes in Southern Ontario
1981-2003
Atmospheric Hazards - Selection Results
Map: .Ontario South Boreal (2300) Selected 586 places on this map
Parameters:
Hail Frequency in Ontario between 0.50 and 2.00 # Days/Year and
Tornado Frequency in Ontario between 0.80 and 2.40 # Events/Year
Moderate-High Hail Frequencies
AND
Moderate-High Tornado Frequencies
Health issues:
Heat Waves and Air Quality
Ozone & Hot Days
Ontario MOE, 2004
Projected Number of “Extreme Heat Alert” Days
from the Hottest Weather Type
2050s, 2080s
12
Number of Days
10
10.7
ADAPTATION: Heat Alert and Response systems
help protect vulnerable populations
9.5
7.9
8
6
7.4
7.0
5.5
5.2
3.9
4
2.4
2.4
1.7
2
0.9
0
Obs. 2050s 2080s
Obs. 2050s 2080s
Obs. 2050s 2080s
Obs. 2050s 2080s
Montreal
Ottawa
Toronto
Windsor
During and After the Disaster:
Crises Management
Reactive – During and After the Disaster
 Moving from Weather Prediction to Risk Prediction
 Warnings Seek Actions
Emergency Response
 (Special) Forecast support for emergency response
 Consideration of cumulative and sequential events
 Vigilance or Tiered Warning systems – link to impacts
 Timely and accurate weather warnings; dissemination
 Warnings that imply actions
Recovery
 Forecast
support
 Hazards risk guidance to rebuild communities
Failures of Early Warning
Programs
1. failure of forecasting
2. ignorance of prevailing vulnerability
3. failure to communicate threat accurately or in
sufficient time
4. failure by the recipients to understand or
believe the warning or to take suitable action.
Planning Effective Early Warning Systems
The success of a Warning is measured by
what actions people take.
• Warnings need terminology relevant to the decisionmaker and messages that suggest appropriate actions.
• People are more likely to heed and act upon warnings
when they have been educated about their risks and
have prepared warning-reaction plans.
Warnings and Clear Communications
Warnings need to have a meaning that is shared
between those who issue the forecasts and the decisionmakers that they are intended to inform. This requires an
appreciation of local and indigenous knowledge (e.g.
Bangladesh Warning System).
Some NMHS are investing in research to better translate
the intensity of forecast meteorological parameters into
impacts and risk levels for communities.
Warning Thresholds and Vigilance:
Often Linked to Infrastructure Failure Thresholds
Work is needed to identify the most dangerous impacts,
the contribution of cumulative and sequential events to
risks and thresholds for failures/disaster.
Information on thresholds for infrastructure
failure could significantly contribute to weather
and flood warning criteria… environmental prediction
Vigilance… Reducing the Impacts of Hazards
“meteorological vigilance” (e.g.
weather watch map systems).
Colour-coded map, with each region
assigned a colour according to the
seriousness of the predicted risk
(vulnerability)
Green, yellow, orange, red,
Highlights the most dangerous
events…. beginning to integrate
vulnerability analysis.
China (CMA): colour coded warnings for
11 extreme weather conditions –
blue, yellow, orange, red, black
Cumulative + Sequential Hazards = Growing Risk
Warning systems need to include sudden
events and “creeping” and combination hazards…
Sequential or cumulative
events impact vulnerability
and need to be considered in
monitoring and Warnings.
e.g. antecedent rainfall and
increasing risks from
storm rainfall
e.g. drought
The Special Needs of
Emergency Responders…
Lead times are very important … for the
activation of emergency response plans and
to identify the most significant risks.
e.g. UK Met Office Early Alerts
 Escalating messages for the public
 Special needs, advance warnings for
emergency responders (includes training)?
RECOVERY from the DISASTER:
REBUILD and REDUCE VULNERABILITIES
Forecast and Warning support, including additional
information to protect vulnerable populations
Hazards risk guidance for
rebuilding communities
Forensics studies (science) in partnership with others
Learning from Failures…
Value of Forensic Studies
“forensic investigations” of high impact events yield
valuable insights (continuous improvement) into:
 critical thresholds for disasters
and infrastructure failure
 improvements to
emergency response plans
 improved and new
products, services
Climate Change and Disaster Management
Climate Change and Disasters
The global cost of natural disasters may exceed $300
billion annually by the year 2050 if the likely impact of
climate change is not countered with aggressive disaster
reduction measures…
Disaster risk reduction…a “no regrets” approach that
reduces vulnerability to near-term hazards today will
become an even more effective strategy for reducing
future risks.
The Future… Disaster Management
UN International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction
International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR)
The aim of the ISDR is to
mobilize governments, UN
agencies, regional bodies,
the private sector and civil
society to unite efforts in
building resilient societies
by developing a culture of
prevention and
preparedness.
WMO and Disaster Management
Target: Half the loss of life associated with natural
disasters (hydro-meteorological) over the next 15 years
Natural Disaster Prevention and Mitigation
Programme
WMO and national
meteorological/hydrological
services have the capability to
develop and deliver critical
products and services to the
disaster risk management
decision process.
Successful Disaster Management:
Risk and Crises Management
Risk Management: Proactive
• Climatic & hydrological design
information
• Hazards for emergency
management planning
• Development of vigilance
warning systems
Crises Management: Reactive
• Warnings & emergency
response
• Environmental prediction
• Hazards and risk information
to rebuild
Thank You
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