Toronto is particularly susceptible to extreme weather disasters simply because it’s booming: the more concrete the city, the hotter the city. The urban heat-island effect is caused by tightly packed buildings and paved surfaces boxing in the heat. And when the rain comes, the lack of green spaces and growing number of impermeable surfaces mean there’s nowhere for water to go but into our ancient, overloaded pipes.
The Lighthouse Project in Hamilton has been building a network of residents and community stakeholders in the interest of preparing neighbours for the impacts of increasing extreme weather events. This network is newly named as Community Resilience to Extreme Weather (CREW) Hamilton.
Faith & the Common Good, Halton Environmental Network, Greening Sacred Spaces Halton-Peel, and an array of partners will be working together over the next year, thanks to funding received from the Oakville Community Foundation (OCF), to pilot an Oakville neighbourhood extreme weather resilience hub model using places of worship and other neighbourhood organizations as neighbourhood engagement and care anchors. The goal is to create an Oakville resiliency hub network that engages diverse community stakeholders to increase community capacity and understanding around how we can work to support each other. The Project plan is to pilot “neighbourhood hubs” in 3 geographic hubs based in the community of Oakville.
Check out this piece in the spec.com written by our communications coordinator, Beatrice Ekoko, asking the question, “how prepared are our communities for increasing extreme weather events?” Here is the complete article:
Globally, heat waves, hurricanes, severe thunderstorms and flooding are becoming more frequent and increasingly intense with climate change. How prepared are we for extreme weather events — both in the home and as a community?
On a personal level I’ll admit that I don’t even have a flashlight at the ready, let alone the recommended two litres of water daily per person stored away. I don’t know where I would go in the event of an electrical blackout.
Extreme weather events are no longer once-in-100-years occurrences, thanks to climate change. Take the City of Toronto; it has experienced three super storms in the last 12 years alone. But extreme weather impacts are predicted to increase and government clearly can’t do it all. So what happens to the vulnerable residents of our communities? Here’s where faith groups are stepping up and exploring how they can be of service within their neighbourhoods.