How You Can Adapt

Stewardship and Supporting Adaptation

As good citizens each of us has a role and responsibility to protect and improve the communities that support us. Preparing for climate change is an important part of community stewardship and is essential to maintaining our resilience and high quality of life.

In addition to the steps described below, giving your support to climate adaptation and sustainability in the City will help all of us prepare for the challenges to come. Some adaptation measures require short-term costs and trade-offs in exchange for much greater benefits in the future, such as building farther above sea level to avoid flooding, increasing green space to reduce flooding and extreme heat events, and designing more efficient, durable buildings to increase comfort and energy security. Supporting these long-term priorities will help the City remain the vibrant place it is today.

Emergency Preparedness

The single most important adaptation action you can take is to be prepared for emergencies:

  • Develop a household emergency plan and prepare an emergency kit
  • Assess the primary risks to your house and family (e.g. flooding, landslides, forest fires) and mitigate these where possible (e.g. avoid placing yard clippings and allowing ponding at the crest of steep slopes)
  • Ensure you have proper insurance coverage, whether you own or rent, and be aware that standard coverage often excludes some hazards (e.g. earthquakes) and that no coverage is available for overland flooding
  • If you anticipate needing assistance, develop an emergency plan with your personal support network, and be aware of others in the community who may need your help

Flood Protection

More intense rainfall will bring greater risks of overland and basement flooding, but there are steps you can take to stay safe and protect your home and property:

  • Find out how to reduce your risk to water damage
  • See how to reduce basement flooding and get step-by-step instructions
  • Learn how to respond to and recover from flooding events

Energy Efficiency Retrofits and Renovations

Energy efficiency retrofits contribute to both adaptation and mitigation, make your home more comfortable and durable, and lower your energy bills.

There are many home energy incentive programs available, including:

Even if energy efficiency is not your main goal, renovating presents a great opportunity to make green changes that will save you money and have adaptation and mitigation benefits.

Energy Conservation

Reducing your energy use not only helps to prevent climate change, but makes us all more resilient to future impacts:

Water Conservation

There are many ways that you can help to conserve the City's precious water supply:

High Efficiency and Durable Buildings

Making new buildings more energy efficient, durable, and flood resistant from the start is much cheaper and easier than having to make extensive retrofits later.

Designing Green Buildings

There are many green building standards to help you design more environmentally friendly buildings, including LEED, EnerGuide, ASHRAE, and Green Globes, as well as more ambitious and comprehensive programs like Net Zero, Passive Homes, and the Living Building Challenge. While each of these programs differs in focus and performance requirements, there are several key components to building green:

  • Site planning and design - nearby services, shading, and smaller footprint
  • Energy conservation and renewable generation - appliance and lighting choices, solar, and geothermal
  • Passive and high efficiency heating and cooling - insulation, passive solar, thermal mass, district heating, chilled beams, and removing thermal bridging
  • Water conservation - appliance choice, greywater reuse, drought tolerant landscaping
  • Waste reduction - design for efficient use of materials and high durability
  • Environmentally friendly materials - renewable, recycled or reused materials, avoiding toxics
  • Health interior environments - material and design choice, ventilation and moisture control

The City of North Vancouver offers a density bonus program to reward energy efficient design based on the ASHRAE and EnerGuide standards.

Incentives for Buying Green Homes

Local and Sustainable Food

Help to improve your own and the region's food security by:

Adapting Your Business

In addition to the actions listed above, preparing your business for climate requires a few extra steps:

  • Develop a risk management and business continuity plan to identify and reduce the risks of climate change impacts, and ensure you are ready to respond to climate related disruptions
  • For more information see Managing The Business Risks And Opportunities Of A Changing Climate from the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy
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