Key Factors to Weathering Disasters

By Denise Johnson | June 30, 2015

Addressing resiliency and understanding the types of disasters that can impact businesses are key factors to weathering disasters, according to a bulletin issued by Sedgwick earlier this year.

Forecasting major industry trends that employers should watch in 2015, the bulletin “5 factors for fifteen,” addressed the key trends that Sedgwick’s thought leaders believe will most significantly affect employers in 2015.

Understanding exposures, according to Scott Richardson, senior vice president and national property manager at VeriClaim, a Sedgwick company, is tantamount to recovering after a disaster.

Richardson said there are two important aspects of crisis management a business should address:

  1. Business continuity planning;
  2. Disaster recovery.

More companies are looking at enterprise risk management which is more encompassing than traditional risk management, said Richardson. This type of plan allows the ability to stop a loss as a whole when prepared.

The main types of disaster exposures are natural versus manmade, he said. Natural weather disasters include unexpected and unanticipated hurricanes, tornadoes and flooding. Manmade disasters include accidents like the BP oil spill or a manufacturer dealing with contaminated products. Intentional manmade disasters are caused by things like the civil unrest in Baltimore or the Boston Marathon bomber.

Richardson said climate change is also an important factor for businesses to consider. At the micro or local level, an increase in volatility of weather patterns can impact crops and cattle. At the macro or global level, weather disasters like flooding in another country can impact supply chains.

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