It is no surprise that in the last decade the globe has been experiencing more and more extreme weather events. While it’s still controversial as to what causes these weather events to happen (cue the climate change, anthropogenic debate), the one thing we can easily discern, is that they are occurring, they do extreme damage to people and infrastructure, and we can’t stop them.

In the last decade, the occurrence of these extreme events has become more frequent and severe. If you look at weather disasters such as hurricane Katrina in 2005 to the heat wave in Russia in 2010 to the more recent wildfires in Boulder County, Colorado in 2013 and those happening currently in California—there’s no doubt that these events are increasing in magnitude and frequency. The graph below details the number of climate related and other extreme weather events over a 30-year period. While there is fluctuation throughout those three decades, there is a clear indication that these events are increasing. While we may disagree as to why these events happen, there is one major aspect we can all agree on—the essential and immediate need to prepare ourselves for them.

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In no way do extreme weather events discriminate when it comes time for their claim to fame. The recent 2017 wildfires alone, which raged across many of the western and northwestern states, destroyed about 8.4 million acres costing in total about 2 billion dollars[i]. It’s common for these fires to happen every couple of years, if not every year—just consider the money and resources that go into helping those affected and restoring those acres demolished.

Imagine your region of the world has just been struck by a category 4 hurricane, or a devastating wildfire, and you witnessed not only the destruction of your own home, but those homes and businesses around you as well. All that you knew is now gone and you must pick up where you left off, often, somewhere else. More than 22 million people have done just that since 2015[ii] and those numbers keep increasing as the frequency of these events increases. A term has even been coined due to the overwhelming number of individuals who have been forcibly displaced from their homes by external circumstances caused by climate or weather-related events. These individuals are known as climate refugees and while there is no stopping these events, there are steps to take to ensure your family, business and future have a fighting chance against devastation.

It’s now common for cities and businesses to create resilience plans and according to the movement called ‘100 Resilient Cities’ over 1,000 cities across the world have joined the network, representing over one-fifth of the world’s population[iii].

 

“Crisis is the new normal for cities in the 21st century.”[iv]

 

Business and climate resilience planning shouldn’t be a daunting task—rather, it should be a preparedness plan for natural disasters, economic downturn, or cyberattacks of any sort. We’ve encountered many of these situations in working with clients at Sustainable Business Consulting and have helped both, companies that have been victims of some of the stresses mentioned above, and companies that are trying to anticipate and mitigate these stressors.

 

For years, SBC has been helping companies to build business and climate resilience plans, and as I previously mentioned, we unfortunately have no way of stopping these major weather events, but we do have the ability to interpret the science and create action plans to mitigate damage, both financially and physically.

 

We at SBC can help create the processes and plans for your business through addressing the physical, financial, branding, social, and environmental risks to ensure that you are operating decades down the line. For more information or if you want to start creating your own plan, shoot us an email!

 

 

[i] https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/billions/events/US/1980-2017

[ii] http://www.unhcr.org/en-us/climate-change-and-disasters.html

[iii] https://www.rockefellerfoundation.org/our-work/initiatives/100-resilient-cities/

[iv] https://www.rockefellerfoundation.org/our-work/initiatives/100-resilient-cities/