Sunnyside Climate Change Risk Assessment
Science shows that to avert the worst impacts of climate change and preserve a livable planet, global temperature increases need to be limited to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Currently, the Earth is already about 1.1°C warmer than it was in the late 1800s, and emissions continue to rise. To keep global warming to no more than 1.5°C – as called for in the UN Paris Agreement at the COP21 in 2015 – emissions need to be reduced by 45% by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050.
If emissions continue to rise, climate change will have an impact on how we operate.
What are the effects of a changing climate likely to be for the Sunnyside
The Sunnyside Guest House is located in the seaside town of Southport. We are within close proximity to the Marine Lake and Southport Beach, as a result we have identified flooding to be one of the biggest risks in the future.
The majority of flooding will be caused by heavy rainfall which can lead to the Marine Lake overtopping its banks or drainage systems being unable to cope with the volume of water. In the North West, the estimated increase in average winter rainfall is 16% by 2080.
Hot summers and milder winters
In the North West, it is estimated that the average summer temperature may increase by 1.5°C by the late 2020s and 6°C by the 2080s.
A 21% reduction in summer rainfall is estimated by 2080 which, combined with increased temperatures, could result in more droughts in the North West. Water shortages, particularly in the summer, could become more frequent.
Storms and wind
Storm events can cause severe short-term impacts including disruption to services. As well as directly damaging buildings on Merseyside storms and high winds can shut down major transport links such as the Runcorn and Thelwell bridges, the airports and rail service.
The above estimates of how the climate is likely to change are taken from the UK Climate Projections 2009 (UKCP09) see ukclimateprojections.metoffice.gov.uk/21678.
What the Sunnyside can do to reduce the impact of climate change upon the business
While we can’t stop flooding or an extreme storm event from affecting us, we can take a few simple steps to reduce the impact these might have on our business so we can remain operating or at least limit the damage.
An Association of British Insurers study revealed that 80% of businesses that do not have an emergency plan in place do not recover from a major incident such as a flood, even where insurance is in place to cover financial losses.
As we live close to the Marine Lake and Beach, measures have to be taken to reduce the risk of flooding.
- We will stock up on flood risk supplies including sandbags. If we run out of sandbags pillowcases/ plastic bags will be used.
- When completing future maintenance and refurbishment work, we plan to use materials that have a high standard of resilience.
- The main boilers and consumer units have been installed high off the ground to avoid any potential flood water. Our plant room is located high up the building.
- Electrical circuits have been separated to each individual floor to reduce any potential rewire work after a flood.
- Computers are regularly backed up in the event of damage in a flood.
- Many of the surfaces in the kitchen are made from stainless steel instead of chipboard.
- We hold dehumidifiers on site to aid the clean-up after a flood.
- We will look to install one-way valves to drains, toilets and self-closing airbricks. We will also use silicone around utility entry points.
- We will try to sign up for the Environment Agency’s free 24-hour Floodline Warnings Direct Service. This can be done through 0845 988 1188 (Floodline). fwd.environment-agency.gov.uk
Hot summers and mild winters
In very high temperatures:
- Wear summertime clothing to minimise discomfort if the task allows.
- Identify cooler areas of the building
- Hot pipes have been lagged to reduce temperatures.
- Blinds have been installed on windows to help reduce the temperature inside the bilding.
- Open windows and use fans to reduce temperatures within the building.
In very low temperatures:
- We keep a stock of grit/salt supplies and adequate gritting of the car park is undertaken in icy conditions.
- Ensure the boilers heat the building to a suitable temperature.
- Pipes have been lagged to avoid freezing.
- We know how to turn off the gas, electricity and water supplies to the business to avoid damage in the event of a burst pipe.
- We have a water butt installed on site that can be used to water the plants in the event our water supply is cut off.
- We will carry out further research around greywater recycling systems and where possible will look to install one within the business.
Storms and wind
- We will look to place orders for supplies in advance of a storm as storms could cause disruptions to the supply chain.