Advancing flood resiliency in Canadian communities

Who we are

Partners for Action (P4A) is a research initiative that seeks to empower Canadians to become flood resilient by promoting awareness and preparedness actions that are inclusive and evidence-based.

Why our work is important

Across Canada, damage from extreme weather has cost taxpayers and insurers almost $10 billion since 1998. The true cost of these disasters is measured by how resilient individuals and communities are. Multiple social deprivations can leave populations unable to recover from a major shock, like a flood event. Natural hazard events are occuring more frequently and are augmented by climate change. In light of this evolving context, it's important to consider equity and resilience by directing resources and supports toward those who are most adversely affected.

What is a resilient community?

Flood resiliency involves the promotion of flood awareness and preparedness, as well as strategies to adapt to and to prevent flooding events.

A resilient community uses a combination of structural (such as dams and berms) and non-structural (such as policies, plans, and procedures) adaptation strategies and learns from past disasters in order to minimize the impacts of flooding and recover quickly.

Building community-engaged flood resiliency must be a part of our national climate adaptation strategy. P4A aims to accelerate community resilience by taking a systems-based approach, communicating early and often, and prioritizing the exploration of solutions at a watershed level to link downstream communities in partnership toward a common goal.

Featured Report:

The Canadian Voices on Flood Risk 2020 Report (PDF) shows findings from a national survey about how Canadian's view the increasingly costly and common natural disaster, flooding. The report was developed in collaboration with Anna Ziolecki, Jason Thistlewaite, Daniel Henstra, and Daniel Scott. It addresses the large flooding problem within Canada and delves into why public awareness on flood risk continues to be so low despite growing urgency.


Rural flooding occurs across Canada causing serious impacts on communities and creating the need for expenses to repair damages and to create defenses for future events. Projects and efforts following serious floods in recent years have greatly increased rural communities’ resiliency to flooding. Compared to city centres, rural areas tend to be remote and do not have the same financial or social capital available. As such, methods used in cities to mitigate floods cannot be applied to rural areas as these communities are unique and have their own needs and governance structures.