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With global temperatures rising past 1.1ºC above pre-industrial levels, the effects of climate change are being felt across the world. Melting glaciers and rising sea levels present risks to environments, communities and people. As part of our ESG strategy, Calian is committed to addressing this issue in alignment with the UN’s sustainable development goals toward climate change.

Source: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/climate-change/

In this impact story, you’ll learn how Calian is helping communities prepare for, mitigate and recover from extreme heat events through an individualized, consultation-based approach.


The Project

Calian provided extreme heat consultation and preparedness services to the town of Smithers and the District Municipality of Cold Stream in British Columbia.

Calian partnered with GIS company Coastal Resource Mapping to collect temperature data and create heat maps for each community, outlining where heat trends are likely to have the most impact. Data was projected until the 2050s, accounting for the estimated impact of climate change.


Creating Personalized Community Risk Assessments and Action Plans

Based on collected temperature data, Calian created customized risk assessments, outlining primary and secondary risks for each community, and how those risks are expected to change over time. Extreme heat carries many related health risks, along with environmental risks including increased chance of wildfire and drought, and damage to homes, infrastructure, and cultural sites.

The Calian team met with community members, local authorities (firefighters, police, local transit, utilities providers, etc.) and decision-makers to create risk reduction strategies. Conversations identified processes already in place to assist during extreme heat events, and areas where more could be done. Gaps were pinpointed to expand or improve current processes, based on individualized understandings of the needs and capabilities of each community.

All this culminated in the creation of an Extreme Heat Response Plan for each community, which are used as all-in-one resources when a heat event is predicted or ongoing. Community members can use the guide to know when to escalate response activities, who to contact, who will put out messaging to the community, and other actions that local authorities should take to ensure people are safe and aware of the event.

“Calian worked closely with the Town of Smithers to conduct a risk assessment and to ensure that their response plan was tailored to meet the unique needs of their community. First responders, community organizations, Town staff, and local residents have a plan in place to effectively prepare for and respond to extreme heat events. The Town of Smithers now has a means of ensuring that everyone is aware, and that public safety during an extreme heat event is optimized,” says Sandy Lavigne, Senior Manager, Calian Emergency Management.


Conclusion

As extreme heat events become more frequent, Calian is committed to helping communities understand and prepare for these challenges. Learn more about our work addressing the UN’s sustainable development goals in our 2023 ESG Report.

The work Calian does to support climate change through community preparedness, mitigation, and recovery efforts demonstrates our commitment to the Calian ESG vision: Collaboration to Advance Resilience Excellence and Sustainability—Calian CARES™