Adapting to Climate Change

Planning for climate change helps us become aware of community and individual impacts, so we can better adapt and bounce back after a crisis or disaster. Learn more about what you can do to adapt to climate change.

1. Adapt Your Built Environment

Adapting buildings to withstand the impacts of extreme weather events reduces the risk of damages.

  • Upgrade roofs to be resilient to heavy snow and extreme weather.
  • Replace dark-colored surfaces like walls, roofs, roads with lighter colors to reduce heat absorption. Plant trees for shade and windbreaks.
  • Naturally cool your house by managing windows, window coverings and fans.
  • Landscape to manage stormwater. This includes planting trees, maintaining natural areas, and adding rain barrels, rain gardens and permeable surfaces. Read more through the Coalition for a Liveable Sudbury and City of Calgary.
  • Disconnect downspouts, weeping tiles and sump pit drainage systems from the sewer system because when they are connected, they increase the risk of flooded basements and overflow into the environment.
  • Prepare for power outages with backup power sources, renewable energy and energy storage on site.

2. Enhance the Natural Environment

Enhancing our natural environment reduces the ecological impacts of climate change such as warmer temperatures, floods, soil erosion and habitat degradation.

  • Choose native trees, shrubs and plants. Naturalize parts of your yard to support pollinators and other native wildlife.
  • Join a community group that is planting native species or caring for a natural space.
  • Protect and enhance natural shorelines by leaving a natural buffer of 15-30 m and adding native shoreline plants.
  • Remove invasive species from your yard or property. Create or join a Citizen Science Program for invasive species to learn more.
  • Choose snow removal companies that are Smart about Salt-certified.
  • Protect drinking water sources as per the Greater Sudbury Source Water Protection Plan.

3. Strengthen the Local Economy

Local businesses along with the tourism and farming sectors can play a part preparing for the impacts of climate change.

  • Develop climate-resilient strategies for topics such as stormwater management.
  • Establish flexible work schedules and locations for your employees to avoid extreme weather events and heat-related illness.
  • Use ecological farming practices to become resilient to climate change conditions and extreme weather events.
  • Develop emergency plans for events such as wildfires and power outages for clients, tourists and customers.
  • Review current workplace health and safety policies and guidelines to determine if potential climate impacts on workers are identified and addressed.
  • Have alternate plans for public events, in the case of extreme weather, heat warnings or air quality alerts.

4. Enhance Cultural and Social Cohesion

Community members are more resilient to climate change when they are connected to others who can support them in times of extreme weather or other emergencies. Building community resilience through schools, neighbourhoods, volunteer groups, spiritual gathering places and community centers builds a more adaptive community.

  • Support non-profit groups and organizations who provide learning opportunities and community experiences for youth and vulnerable populations.
  • Develop a climate change adaptation plan for your faith centre, Indigenous cultural centre, school or meeting location.
  • Adapt cultural and social centres to be resilient, multi-use and available year-round.
  • Get to know your neighbours and watch out for each other. Check in on your vulnerable neighbours and community members.
  • Work on a climate resilience project with your neighbours, community or faith group. Find some project examples and ideas here.
  • Join a community group or community garden.

5. Increase Community Health and Well-Being

It is important to increase your own, and the community’s, health and well-being in the face of increasing hazards related to air, water, food and weather quality as a result of climate change.

  • Protect your skin from high UV index with long sleeves, shade trees or structures, umbrellas and sunscreen. Schedule outdoor activities when the UV index is lower. Follow other extreme weather guidelines from Public Health Sudbury & Districts.
  • Stay hydrated, keep a clean source of water available and familiarize yourself with cooling centres activated during a Hot Weather Response.
  • Stay up to date on weather events and air quality alerts and adapt activities accordingly.
  • Include climate change hazards in health and safety messages and policies in the workplace.
  • Stay connected friends, neighbours, loved ones and medical professionals to support your mental health and overall well-being.
  • Prepare for shortages in certain food items or price fluctuations. Grow, prepare and preserve your own food at home or at a community garden, and continue the process by seed saving.
  • Connect with local farmers, other local food sources and look for Foodland Ontario labeling.
  • Buy or prepare your own 72-hour emergency kit so you can take care of yourself for a minimum of three days.
  • Prepare a plan of action in case of a community emergency evacuation.

6. Enabling Actions Empower the Community to Act on Climate Change

We all have a part to play in making our community more climate resilient. Let’s do it together.  Let’s make it easy for everyone to take part.

  • Participate in initiatives and programs that build awareness and actions around climate change.
  • Join a community group or Community Action Network making a difference. Greater Sudbury has many community groups planting trees and gardens, growing food, caring for natural spaces, and caring for our vulnerable neighbours.
  • Take on a climate education or resiliency project with your neighbours, workplace or a community group.
  • Subscribe to Sudbury Alerts. This notification system alerts residents of potential hazards or concerns considered an imminent threat to public safety.
  • Get to know your neighbours and learn how you can help each other during extreme events.