Understanding Climate Change to Build Sustainable Small Businesses
|By: Eryn Tribble | Nov 15 2013 | 540 words | 1139 hits|
Business readiness is essential to increase one's chances of business survival. Ensuring a business is ready for any threat includes preparing for extreme weather. According to a recent survey by AXA Group insurance three out of four respondents believe future climate will become more extreme more often, while only five percent believe the weather will become calmer. 88% of the respondents believe that it is possible to limit the consequences of climate change. Understanding how climate change might impact your business is essential to making a preparation plan and having it ready to implement when necessary.
As small businesses are integral to any economy, it is imperative that they develop independent and complementary programs across their industry to stay competitive and afloat in tomorrow's shifting climates. Since all economies are dependent on this vulnerable sector, development of strong and actionable response plans is essential to national and global stability.
Recent examples of climate disaster include Hurricane Sandy, the typhoon that precipitated the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster, and the many F5 tornadoes in central Oklahoma. In light of more severe and frequent climate variations, businesses will need to re-assess and re-engineer their existing risk management practices. The greater and more pronounced the climate change, the greater the disruption to product and service creation and delivery. Unlike larger organizations that tend to adapt to recurrent disruptions, small organizations cannot devote as many resources as frequently. Thus, small organizations must learn how to plan and implement climate change adaptation plans more efficiently and fluidly.
Developing rapid response and implementation plans for increased and more severe climate change are beneficial not just for climate change. Having a plan in place and ready to execute helps small businesses respond to and minimize damages in response to many threats. The same plan that helps small businesses respond to natural disasters can help businesses become profitable by offering technology that helps consumers and other businesses work through a natural disaster.
There are many things a new or existing climate change response plan can benefit from. Taking into account new weather predictions, business survival plans should implement the following steps:
1. Create a plan: Developing a plan is essential to know what to do beforehand. When an emergency is imminent, there will only be time for execution.
2. Insurance: What is and what is not covered. Based on the organization's budget, assets, and an assessment of what needs to be covered will help determine the best type of insurance policy.
3. Weatherproofing: What aspects of the business can and cannot sustain a natural disaster. Looking at purchasing products that come weather-proofed and what existing fixtures need to be weather-proofed is essential to respond effectively to future weather events.
4. Data backup: Developing a system to ensure all data is safe in case of a natural disaster. This can include data virtual or site backup.
Each organization has different needs and goals. Therefore, climate change response plans must be individualized for each organization's needs and future goals. While many organizations have planned for short-term needs, planning for long-term needs, in light of rapidly changing weather and the increased frequency of weather disasters necessitates long-term planning. Along with planning, organizations that are able to adapt efficiently will help their organizations survive and thrive despite any emergency, weather or otherwise.
Eryn Tribble is a certified Associated Business Continuity Professional (ABCP) who offers experience and expertise in Business Continuity Management (BCM)with a focus on employees as the company's greatest asset and human management in continuity with DCS Planning. More Info visit on www.dcsplanning.com