Incorporating Climate Change Adaptation into Emergency Planning at the Local Level in Nova Scotia

As the provincial agency responsible for emergency preparedness and response, the Nova Scotia Emergency Management Office (EMO) has an important role to play in climate change adaptation. As climate conditions become more volatile in Nova Scotia, municipal and provincial EMO officers may need to re-examine the effectiveness of current emergency management plans. If flood risk areas expand, there are numerous key questions that apply to the provision of emergency services. For example: How will this affect access to hospitals, fire departments and other important resources? Will emergency exit routes need to be changed? Do communities need training in new or enhanced emergency management techniques to better manage projected risks? How can these decisions be reflected in existing and/or future policies, regulations, codes and practices? These are some of the key questions and issues which will be explored in EMO's contribution to the ACAS project., Work with Atlantic RAC partners to re-assess emergency response plans based on new flood, erosion and sedimentation maps (that take climate change into account) at the provincial level and in some of the municipal climate regions (these include Yarmouth, Lunenburg, HRM, Minas Basin, Chignecto Isthmus and Oxford). Review the Nova Scotia Emergency Management Act, NS Civil emergency Planning Regulations and other relevant tools in order to make recommendations on how existing and/or future policies, regulations, practices and schedules can better manage flood, erosion and sedimentation changes., A report on suggested changes to the EM Act and municipal emergency plans based on feedback from consultation with the communities, The project will assist in the identification of issues that are important for emergency planning by coastal communities in Nova Scotia The work will help us reach our goals and targets as outlined in the Climate Change Action Plan, Memorandum of Understanding with the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities and the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act. It is likely that this approach will contribute to a wider set of guidelines/tools developed under the ACAS initiative to help municipalities conduct more accurate vulnerability assessments and more strategic adaptation planning.