Hurricane Florence brought extensive flooding to North Carolina and Canadians are warned to take note. (Gray Whitley/Sun Journal via AP)

Hurricanes, floods: ‘You ain’t seen nothing yet,’says insurance expert


Canadians need to learn from the hurricane and the floods devastating North and South Carolina, says Glenn McGillivray, managing director of the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction. This is an independent body created by Canada’s insurance industry to reduce the impact of disasters. It is affiliated with Western University.

Glenn McGillivray says Canadian homeowners and governments need to do more to protect against the effects of climate change.

‘Climate change on training wheels’

McGillivray says the increase in the intensity and frequency of hurricanes and flooding is not entirely due to climate change but it does play a role: “What we’re seeing right now is what I like to call climate change on training wheels. This is just the beginning of the warming and the impact on severe weather.

“To use some bad English, we ain’t seen nothing yet. I think in the decades ahead we’re going to see categorically more events, bigger events of various kinds.

Wildfires burned through large tracts of land in the western provinces of Alberta and British Columbia in August 2018. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press/file)

Avoid high-risk areas, advises expert

McGillivray says Canadians are already experiencing more flooding and wildfires and they need to prepare for worse. First, he says, developers must stop building homes in high risk areas. Some larger cities have already taken steps to ban construction in flood plains.

He also says municipalities should not pay homeowners to rebuild in high risk areas but rather should buy them out so they can rebuild elsewhere.

Homeowners advised to step up protection

McGillivray says homeowners should protect themselves for example by installing backwater valves to prevent sewers from backing up into their homes. They could also install sump pumps and make sure they have a power source should the electricity fai. Other suggestions include fixing cracks in the foundation, covering basement window wells, and landscaping in a way to divert water away from the house.

‘Future is looking pretty bleak’

Cities are taking steps to make their infrastructure more resistant to flooding and the Canadian government is helping smaller municipalities do the same. But McGillivray is urging all Canadians to step up their efforts.

“The future is looking pretty bleak when it comes to climate change and severe weather. It’s certainly going to get worse.”

Categories: Environment, Society
Tags: , , , , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1.’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3.’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish or in one of the two official languages, English or French. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available


One comment on “Hurricanes, floods: ‘You ain’t seen nothing yet,’says insurance expert
  1. Avatar joe stratford says:

    We don’t need another insurance sponsored agency (wasted expense) suggesting more restrictive building regulations (more wasted expense) driving up the cost of already outrageous insurance rates and making the price of housing more unattainable than it already is.
    What we do need is more Canadians in overalls with lunch pails and less in suits writing off expensive meals.
    We all know when the disasters happen, it will be the insurance companies wriggling out of their responsibilities and passing it on to government.