Fredericton leads on adapting to extreme weather by piloting new tool to plan infrastructure fixes and reduce basement flooding

FREDERICTON, Nov. 21, 2013 /CNW/ - Today the City of Fredericton and Canada's property and casualty insurance industry join forces to target infrastructure improvements in Canada's municipalities.

Together with Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), the City of Fredericton is launching a pilot project to use MRAT (for municipal risk assessment tool) to evaluate the city's sewer and stormwater infrastructure. This made-in-Canada technology is designed to help communities become more resilient to extreme weather.

Because of Canada's changing weather, communities now cope with more rain and snow, which can overwhelm already vulnerable infrastructure, and cause sewers to back up and basements to flood.

MRAT combines information - about infrastructure, climate and insurance claims - to produce maps that give city engineers a new and revealing picture of infrastructure vulnerabilities in 2013, in 2020 and in 2050.

MRAT will help municipalities identify vulnerabilities in their sewer and stormwater infrastructure and prioritize improvements to prevent sewer backups and keep basements dry. Click http://youtu.be/V9Z6kdMnTbs to see how MRAT works.

This view into the future will help cities identify vulnerabilities, prioritize repairs and leverage federal infrastructure dollars. The goal is fewer flooded basements.

"The City of Fredericton is committed to continuing to be a leader and take advantage of new tools that will help to ensure we have the necessary facts to aid us in making the right choices when it comes to infrastructure renewal and investment," said Fredericton Mayor Brad Woodside.

The Canadian property and casualty insurance industry has also faced rapidly rising claims costs to repair flooded basements. Insured losses from natural disasters in 2013 - including the recent Alberta and Toronto floods - are close to $3 billion, the highest in Canadian history.

"We want to congratulate Fredericton and its leaders for taking part in the MRAT pilot," said Amanda Dean, IBC Vice-President, Atlantic. "By piloting MRAT, Fredericton's civic leaders are betting on Canadian know-how and taking advantage of this innovative Canadian tool."

The MRAT pilot will roll out in Coquitlam, BC, Hamilton, ON, and Fredericton, NB, today, followed by several more communities across the country in 2014.

About the City of Fredericton
The City of Fredericton prides itself on being a smart, sustainable city offering a world-class business environment and balanced lifestyle with abundant recreational and cultural amenities. Internationally and nationally recognized for municipal and community efforts, the city delivers more than 60 programs and services to residents and visitors alike, in a planned and financially responsible manner. Together with its community stakeholders, the City of Fredericton is working to be the most vibrant small city in North America.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, car and business insurers. Its member companies represent 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. The P&C insurance industry employs over 118,600 Canadians, pays more than $7 billion in taxes to the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and has a total premium base of $46 billion.

To view media releases and other information, visit the media section of IBC's website at www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau or like us on Facebook.

SOURCE: Insurance Bureau of Canada

For further information:

or to schedule an interview, contact:

Wayne Knorr
Communications
City of Fredericton
506-460-2181
wayne.knorr@fredericton.ca

Ellen Woodger
Communications Consultant
Insurance Bureau of Canada
416-483-2358
ellen.woodger@sympatico.ca

Helen Lialias
Media Relations Officer
Insurance Bureau of Canada
416-434-1509
416-362-2031 ext. 4312
hlialias@ibc.ca


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