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The climate in Edmonton is warming at a faster rate than other parts of the world, with the most noticeable warming occurring in winter. Year-round we should expect to see changes. Although we’ve always been exposed to hail storms, flash floods, freezing rain, high winds and extreme heat, climate change increases both the frequency and intensity of these “climate shocks” (also called “climate hazards”).

Extreme weather events are cause for concern because they can appear suddenly and with an intensity that can be damaging to personal property and city infrastructure alike.

Being climate prepared means knowing what climate hazards to expect, how to mitigate any hazards before they become an emergency and how to respond in the event of an emergency.

Preparing for Climate Hazards

Things To Do In Advance

Prepare Your Home

Adapting Your Home    Fireproof Your Property

Prepare Your Family

  • Be prepared to stay at home for many hours or days. This is commonly called “shelter in place.”
  • If you are instructed to evacuate, you will need a “grab and go” kit to help you, your family and pets to survive outside your home for an extended period. 

Personal Preparedness

Get to Know Your Neighbours

  • You can rely on and support each other during emergency situations as you wait for trained first responders to arrive.
  • During heat waves it's important to frequently check on the health of your neighbours.

By knowing what to expect and making advance preparations, we are better able to minimize the impacts of climate shocks.

How to Prepare for Extreme Weather Events

Prepare for Extreme Weather Events


Periods of drought are expected as the climate warms.

  • Landscape with drought-tolerant species, native plants and grasses
  • Rain barrels to store water in advance
Extreme Heat

The number of summer days that exceed 30oC are on the rise and summer nights may feel more tropical. Heat can be very uncomfortable and amplify existing health conditions. Take steps to keep yourself cool and to cool your home, too.

  • Access to air-conditioning, at home or in public spaces
  • Awnings to shade the hot sun
  • Carry drinking water when away from home
  • Fireproof the outside of your home
  • Green roofs can help to insulate your home or building
  • Home insulation
  • Shade trees and shrubs provide a cooling effect
  • Window shades
  • Check on elderly or ill neighbours to ensure their safety and comfort
Extreme Rainfall

Prepare your home to handle high-volume downpours of rain.

  • Eaves troughs should be cleaned out and drain water away from your foundation
  • Lot grading away from home to keep your basement dry
  • Ensure sewage backwater valves are installed and working properly
  • Sump pumps in working order
  • Place valuables in waterproof containers (if in basement)
  • Visit Epcor for information about flood preparation
Extreme Wind

Prepare your home to handle damaging winds.

  • Prune weak trees
  • Secure items that could be picked up by wind
  • Secure outdoor furniture
Freeze-thaw and Ice Storm Events

Winter is warming at a faster rate than other seasons. Expect cold to be interrupted by warmer weather, making surfaces icy and slippery. Prepare for power interruptions from ice storms.

  • Back-up power/solar/batteries / keep cell phones charged
  • Emergency food and water, blanket and supplies for long-term “shelter-in-place
  • Portable solar phone charger and crank-up flashlight and radio
  • Prepare for power outages
  • Sand / ice cleats for traction
Poor Air Quality

Drier temperatures and lightning storms can increase the chances of fires, especially in the surrounding forests. Smoky air can drift into Edmonton and linger for days. An Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) number between 4 and 6 can indicate that the air quality poses a moderate risk to one’s health. The health risk becomes higher as the number increases.

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