Disaster Planning on a National Scale and in California

 

Hurricane Isaac makes landfall.

Whether or not you agree with the claims about global warming, you can’t deny a few facts about the weather from the past few years. And finally, groups like the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) are trying to be proactive.

Let’s have a recap on extreme weather events across the country:

  • Great Drought of 2012, which is still affecting a lot of states in the central U.S. Apparently 98% of Nebraska is still experiencing extreme or exceptional drought, tens of thousands of acres have caught fire over the summer, and fire departments have had to ask for emergency increases in property taxes to deal with the cost of fighting them. Purdue economist Chris Hurt estimates that the drought alone could cost $77 billion in damages and hardship. Throw in Hurricane Isaac, and you’re looking at a large chunk of change for 2012.
  • Let’s remember our current heat wave over the last two months here in Southern California, and the fires associated with them.
  • In 2011, the U.S. experienced 14 disastrous weather events, including heavy snows, droughts and the Mississippi River flood, that caused over $1 billion in damages. EACH. The total for extreme weather damage in 2011 is estimated at $55 billion.

Even though scientists report that climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, including drought, heat waves and intense storms, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) doesn’t ask states to factor in climate change when they draft their disaster mitigation plans. The NRDC and NWF are asking FEMA to require states to factor in climate change in the future, especially since the other federal agencies, from the Environmental Protection Agency to the CIA to the Pentagon, have all acknowledged the dangers of global warming.

As usual, California is putting a good foot forward by passing legislation in September 2012 that authorizes the State Coastal Conservancy to address climate change’s impact on coastal resources, such as sea-level rise and storm surges.

So, if states are required to have disaster mitigation plans, don’t you think your business should have one? With weather experts waving flags about extreme rains from an upcoming El Niño winter this year, it would be wise to think about a few things:

  1. Have you checked your building for leaks or other defects that could lead to flooding or water damage?
  2. Have you completed regular safety checks to ensure that there are no fire hazards?
  3. Have you checked your equipment and made sure that they are all in working order, including fuses, electrical cords, vents and pipes?

These are just a few items that we can help you go through to make sure you’re prepared for a potential disaster. And here’s some more food for thought: What happens if your place of business does get flooded? Do you have a plan to keep your business running? Can you earn a living, pay your vendors and employees and produce your goods or services without your business location in working order? No? Then you need to talk to us about how we can help minimize any disruption to your business: Call us on (877) 732-8471 now so you can be prepared!

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