Extreme rainfall, hurricanes, droughts, and wildfires have captivated the nation this year. People have lost their homes, businesses and lives. If it seems like these events are happening more and more, it’s because they are.
Navigating climate risk in the ever-changing environment can be difficult, but it’s imperative you set your business up for success and have a business continuity plan in place to account for these growing risks.
A RISE IN DISASTERS
From 1980 to 2022, the annual number of billion-dollar disasters, adjusted for inflation, averaged 8.1. Over the past five years, the U.S. has averaged 18 billion-dollar disasters a year.1
From the Maui wildfires to Hurricane Hilary, the United States surpassed the record of billion-dollar disasters. In 2023, there have been 23 confirmed weather/climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each to affect United States. These events included flooding, severe storms, tropical cyclones, wildfires, and winter storms. Overall, these events resulted in the deaths of 253 people and had significant economic effects on the areas impacted.2 The question remains—these disasters are here, how can you prepare and mitigate the associated risks?
CONSEQUENCES OF CLIMATE RELATED DISASTERS
Businesses can experience many disruptions as a result of natural disasters. Below we break down a few of the consequences that could affect your business.
- Supply chain complications—The rise in natural disasters has also created supply chain complications. Supply chains have a ripple effect. When a disruption occurs, it can cause shipping delays, material shortages and scarcity. Develop a plan to navigate this inevitable consequence.
- Day-to-day operations disrupted—After a natural disaster strikes, you face disruption to your daily life. Whether a material resource loss or an emotional loss, in the wake of a natural disaster, your day-to-day operations will not continue as usual.
There is an emotional component here as well. With natural disasters often comes displacement. Take time to consider the effect the disaster has on your workforce.
- A hardening insurance market—The increase in natural disasters has not helped businesses as we face a hardening market. Several enterprises have faced heightened premiums, diminished capacity, and extra coverage limitations in this market. These insurance challenges are becoming more prevalent among businesses situated in areas susceptible to natural disasters.
- Public perception—With climate change being top of mind for consumers, there is increased scrutiny on companies. Consumers closely monitor businesses to see their response, whether they are affected by the natural disaster or not. In fact, 55% want brands to create awareness around problems such as climate change.3
STEPS TO MITIGATE CLIMATE RISK
BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLANNING
Today, organizations face a wide range of risks that can threaten the resiliency of their operations. The losses caused by natural disasters should not be taken lightly. These threats are omnipresent and can be difficult to prevent.
Yet there are significant steps organizations can take to mitigate the impact on your organization when a natural disaster strikes. Developing and implementing a Business Continuity Plan (BCP), to address the risk of business interruption is a core risk management practice. A BCP better positions an organization to withstand financial or reputational harm.
Business continuity planning is the process of identifying the parts of your company that are essential and critical to your operations and creating a plan to sustain or recover them if a business interruption occurs. Your company’s business continuity plan, in conjunction with business interruption insurance, form your business continuity management (BCM) program. Businesses with strong BCM programs are more resilient in the face of emergencies and disasters.
DEVELOP A CRISIS MANAGEMENT PLAN
A Crisis Management Plan identifies the processes and steps to be taken during a crisis event or situation. Ideally, a Crisis Management Plan should be a subpart of your comprehensive BCP. Natural disasters are a key instance where having a Crisis Management Plan is essential.
Creating a Crisis Management Plan is one way a company can bolster and instill more trust in their risk management initiatives. Having the capacity to manage and preemptively address a crisis can enhance the company’s risk profile.
This could also safeguard the company’s financial health and reputation by ensuring stability during a crisis through a well-implemented plan. A robust Crisis Management Plan acts as a roadmap during a crisis. It can mitigate the effect on your earnings while preserving your credibility and reputation.
“Resilience is not just about reducing risk; it allows a company to gain a competitive edge by mastering the art of handling disruptions more efficiently than its rivals,”
– as mentioned in the MIT Sloan Management Review.
At MJ, we’re here to help you mitigate the risks you face and better prepare you for future disasters. While we can’t prevent the disaster from happening, we will be there in your time of need.
Contact us today to learn more about our risk services and consultative, personal approach.CONTACT US TODAY
- Loehrke, Janet, and Dinah Voyles Pulver. “Costly Climate: See Billion-Dollar Natural Disasters Piling up across the US.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network. Retrieved. 21 Aug. 2023, www.usatoday.com/story/graphics/2023/08/21/natural-disasters-climate-costs-wildfires-storms/70612037007/.
- “Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters.” Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters | National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), www.ncei.noaa.gov/access/billions/events/US/2023?disasters%5B.
- “Consumers Expect Brands to Address Climate Change.” The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones & Company. deloitte.wsj.com/articles/consumers-expect-brands-to-address-climate-change-01618945334.