To improve public awareness of flood risk and meet its commitment to the United Nations Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction, Canada must develop up-to-date flood risk maps and make them publicly available. Effective flood maps improve risk perception, ensure information is accessible and stimulate risk reduction. Good flood maps provide: information to personalize the experience of flooding; local and historical context; a legend; legible flood extents; definitions of scientific and technical terminology; transparency on uncertainty and limitations; data on all forms of flooding; and risk reduction advice. Until a more coordinated map development process can occur, the Government of Canada should create a national online repository where existing maps are collected and made publicly accessible.
Daniel Henstra is a CIGI senior fellow and associate professor of political science at the University of Waterloo.
Jason Thistlethwaite is a CIGI senior fellow, as well as assistant professor in the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo.