Summerside's climate change risks outlined in new report
Food, medicine and diesel supplies could be interrupted by Confederation Bridge restrictions
A non-profit group doing climate change risk assessments for communities across Canada has completed its findings on Summerside, P.E.I.
Natural Resources Canada is sponsoring the reports prepared by Quest. Gerald Giroux, electrical engineer with Summerside Electric and the city's point person for the research, presented the findings to council.
"It listed off some of our strengths and also highlighted some weaknesses on areas where we could improve," said Giroux.
"It was a great way to get all of this information consolidated."
Among strengths for the city listed in the report were that the city is already taking climate change impacts, such as flood risks, into account when planning new developments, storm surge assessments for the electrical utility are underway, and hospitals and schools are ready for backup power.
Areas of concern included a need to make better plans for food, medicine and diesel supplies. The report noted supplies could start to run low if Confederation Bridge was closed to trucking for more than 52 hours.
It said there was no strategy for interruption to the food supply.
The report noted some emergency shelters do not have backup power. Cooling centres, in addition to the current warming centres, are needed in the event of a prolonged heat wave.
Giroux said one particularly useful aspect of the report is it includes forms that can be used to track the progress on the identified issues over the next three years.
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With files from Angela Walker