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Spring and Summer Storm Safety Tips for Businesses

Spring and summer can bring about dangerous weather, such as tornadoes, hailstorms and thunderstorms, and wreak havoc on communities. In fact, insured damage for severe storms across Canada reached $770 million last spring and summer, according to Catastrophe Indices and Quantifications Inc. While weather can be unpredictable, businesses can minimize risks to both people and property by preparing for all situations.

Business leaders should consider the following precautions:

  • Develop a plan. If employees have to travel to work, storms could put them in danger on the road. In addition, shelter-in-place orders or power outages could also pose threats to on-site employees, clients and customers. Having a plan in place can help everyone remain safe during an emergency. Outline what employees should do in different circumstances, have a communication protocol and conduct drills.
  • Keep an emergency kit on hand. This kit should contain emergency supplies, including flashlights, water, a first-aid kit, blankets, extra batteries and tools.
  • Secure the property and outdoor assets. Dead trees, weak structures and unsecured materials can become airborne hazards during windstorms, damaging buildings or external systems. If severe weather is in the forecast, complete preventive maintenance, close windows securely, bring outdoor furniture inside and clear out storm drains.
  • Back up data. Storms can cause power outages and may physically damage equipment. Back up critical data often to help quickly rebuild systems.
  • Obtain proper insurance coverage. An experienced insurance broker can help business leaders understand and plan for the impacts of catastrophic weather. Complete a coverage review to ensure there are no gaps in coverage that will result in an uncovered loss.

Businesses can better mitigate losses by minimizing the opportunity for property damage, preparing employees to act and working with an experienced broker to ensure appropriate insurance coverage. For more information, contact us today.

The Business Risks of Climate Change

Over the last decade, climate change has become a rising concern for businesses and their respective communities, evidenced by increasingly severe natural disaster trends and a growing sense of urgency found in the latest climate reports. Amid these concerns, some business leaders have started taking action by further educating themselves about climate change and reviewing its risks..

The following are three main categories of climate change-related risks businesses face:

  • Physical risks—Such risks pertain to the immediate threats people and property encounter with the changing climate. Namely, extreme weather events (and the damages accompanying them) are considered physical risks. For example, an organization’s property could be damaged due to a wildfire or flooding. These types of disasters are only expected to become more frequent and severe, therefore exacerbating the physical risks of climate change.
  • Transitional risks—These risks stem from society’s transformation toward an environmentally sustainable economy. As climate change awareness increases, businesses could encounter numerous exposures in the process of transitioning (or failing to transition) to more sustainable operations.
  • Liability risks—Such risks refer to legal issues businesses may face due to the level of involvement their activities (or lack thereof) played in climate change events. These risks could be especially prevalent in the aftermath of natural disasters, as businesses may be held responsible by stakeholders for contributing to or causing these disasters based on their specific environmental protection efforts. Liability risks could also arise from businesses disregarding shifting regulatory expectations for environmental sustainability, such as greenhouse gas emission caps or reporting requirements.

Overall, climate change is a significant concern that has already impacted and will continue to affect businesses going forward. Fortunately, with proper mitigation measures in place, business leaders can help reduce the adverse effects of climate change, safeguard their operations and promote environmental sustainability for years to come. For more risk management guidance, contact The Hull Group today.