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Simmons K.M.,Austin College | Kovacs P.,Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction | Kopp G.A.,University of Western Ontario
Weather, Climate, and Society | Year: 2015

In April 2014, the city of Moore, Oklahoma, adopted enhanced building codes designed for wind-resistant construction. This action came after Moore suffered three violent tornadoes in 14 yr. Insured loss data and a rigorous approach to estimating how much future damage can be mitigated is used to conduct a benefit-cost analysis of the Moore standards applied to the entire state of Oklahoma. The results show that the new codes easily pass the benefit-cost test for the state of Oklahoma by a factor of 3 to 1. Additionally, a sensitivity analysis is conducted on each of the five input variables to identify the threshold where each variable causes the benefit-cost test to fail. Variables include the estimate of future losses, percent of damage that can be reduced, added cost, residential share of overall losses, and the discount rate. © 2015 American Meteorological Society. Source

Simonovic S.P.,University of Western Ontario | Schardong A.,University of Western Ontario | Sandink D.,Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction | Srivastav R.,University of Western Ontario
Environmental Modelling and Software | Year: 2016

Intensity Duration Frequency (IDF) curves are among the most common tools used in water resources management. They are derived from historical rainfall records under the assumption of stationarity. Change of climatic conditions makes the use of historical data for development of IDFs for the future unjustifiable. The IDF_CC, a web based tool, is designed, developed and implemented to allow local water professionals to quickly develop estimates related to the impact of climate change on IDF curves for almost any local rain monitoring station in Canada. The primary objective of the presented work was to standardize the IDF update process and make the results of current research on climate change impacts on IDF curves accessible to everyone. The tool is developed in the form of a decision support system (DSS) and represents an important step in increasing the capacity of Canadian water professionals to respond to the impacts of climate change. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. Source

McGillivray G.,Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction
Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences | Year: 2015

Though many seem to view climate change-related deviations in the Arctic as nothing more than as a distant early warning for the ‘rest of us’, new research indicates that loss of Arctic sea ice could be affecting the jet stream in such a way as to be impacting weather in the northern hemisphere. Uncharacteristically long blocking patterns being linked to the weakening circulation of upper atmospheric winds in the northern hemisphere are being connected not only to the bitter North American winter of 2013/2014 and to the uncommonly cool summer of 2014, but also to extreme weather events, many of them involving copious amounts of precipitation. Hence, changes in the cryosphere a world away, once regarded as largely isolated and innocuous, now appear to be affecting the lives—and livelihoods—of those living in the urban northern hemisphere. © 2015, AESS. Source

Sandink D.,Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction | Simonovic S.P.,University of Western Ontario | Schardong A.,University of Western Ontario | Srivastav R.,University of Western Ontario
Environmental Modelling and Software | Year: 2016

Stakeholder involvement can serve to increase the quality of decision support systems (DSSs) and increase the perceived legitimacy of DSS outputs. Involving those who are ultimately affected by the outputs of DSSs in system design and development also reflects democratic principles. Importantly, stakeholder involvement can help ensure that the outputs of DSSs are used in decision-making processes. However, DSSs often fail due to poor engagement of stakeholder and end-user communities in the development and design of systems. The stakeholder engagement process applied in the development of the Computerized Tool for the Development of Intensity Duration Frequency Curves under Climate Change described here followed many of the tenants of best practices identified in the literature. While the engagement strategy was generally considered successful, over- and under-representation of some stakeholder groups and long term funding issues were weaknesses in the engagement process. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd Source

Sandink D.,Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction | Kovacs P.,Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction | Oulahen G.,University of Western Ontario | Shrubsole D.,University of Western Ontario
Canadian Water Resources Journal | Year: 2015

Flood-affected households in Canada rely on a complex arrangement of public disaster assistance and partial private insurance coverage for flood recovery. Recently, calls have been made for a review of the role of private insurance in residential flood losses; however, there are many challenges associated with the introduction of private flood insurance. Some ways to increase the viability of flood insurance include providing flood coverage for a variety of flood types, limiting coverage for very high-risk households and implementing risk-based coverage. To be effective, flood insurance will further require households, insurers and governments to participate in the reduction of flood risk. Governments and insurers should work toward a national, consistent approach to flood hazard assessment that includes assessment of a variety of flood types that affect households and supports both non-structural flood risk reduction and insurance pricing. Governments and insurers should further work to reduce the number of very high-risk households and improve the quality and accessibility of flood loss data. Furthermore, households will have to become better informed of the specifics of insurance coverage and bear a portion of flood losses through risk-based insurance pricing and conditions. © 2015 Canadian Water Resources Association Source

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