How Businesses Can Prepare for Climate Change-Related Disasters

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Climate change is a pressing issue, and businesses must act now to avoid climate-related catastrophes. They may think that changes in the planet do not need to be addressed yet, but scientists say that climate change made some recent weather events worse. Here are some things that companies can do to ensure they’re as ready as possible if climate change-related disasters happen:

1. Create a Climate-Related Crisis Response Plan

One of the primary steps to take to prepare for climate threats is to have a well-defined plan to use if they occur. AT&T recently polled more than 600 businesses to get their thoughts on weather-related issues and climate change.

Interestingly, although 59% of businesses considered their enterprises climate-resilient, only 38% of companies had plans to help them react to climate change events. Additionally, 29% of those polled had at least taken steps to evaluate their vulnerabilities and figure out the most significant risks they faced.

It’s crucial for businesses to both carry out vulnerability assessments and compose concrete action plans so that the organizations respond as effectively as possible to any climate disasters that happen. Preparedness is essential for reducing the damage caused and the time required to restore normal operations after a crisis.

2. Determine the Best Ways to Protect Assets

Once businesses know the most prevalent risks that climate change may cause, they must come up with the most appropriate ways to protect their assets and minimize financial losses. Some businesses possess thousands or millions of dollars in products, supplies and other company assets. The best method of protecting them depends on knowing the most likely risks.

For example, a company in an area prone to hurricanes may need to install water-filled flood barriers alongside other flood control measures. Those reduce the likelihood that valuables get swamped as water levels rise. Researchers discovered that if ocean temperatures rise by 3-4 degrees Celsius this century, hurricane rainfall amounts could increase by one-third while wind speeds go up by as much as 25 knots.

Evidence also suggests climate change is a factor contributing to the severity of wildfires, too. In that case, companies in areas frequently subjected to wildfires may want to invest in fire-resistant doors or store company documents in safes that withstand fires.

The goal is for companies to evaluate which environmental risks threaten their assets the most and react accordingly. Some business representatives may view taking that step as a premature investment, but they also have to see things more broadly and realize the ramifications that could occur if they don’t engage in precautions.

3. Outsource Services When Possible

It’s also crucial for companies to investigate how they could allow outsourced parties to help keep operations flowing. For example, many brands have both physical stores and websites. If a store closes down because of a climate-related disaster, it could at least remain profitable by depending on a company that could handle the logistical needs associated with serving customers who order things from its website.

If companies establish relationships with those third-party companies now, they’ll have solid partnerships with those entities if climate disasters occur later. Moreover, starting to outsource some company duties to other enterprises now could give a business more time to make climate change preparedness a priority.

4. Incorporate Risk Assessment Into Stakeholder Documents

Companies must also be mindful of how stakeholders could react if they perceive that a company falls short with climate readiness. That’s because there are increasing demands for businesses to be honest about disclosing climate risks. An organization could start by demonstrating to stakeholders that the company is properly insured against threats, plus explain to them some of the climate-related actions the company took to reduce the chance of problems.

When businesses fail to address stakeholder fears, those parties could decide to end their relationships with the companies before direct climate change disasters happen. As such, being transparent with stakeholders about climate change could give the peace of mind they need to continue associating with an enterprise over the long-term.

5. Take a Future-Minded Approach to Site Selection

Choosing where to start a new business location requires businesses to consider things about the local economy, the area’s roads and how many potential customers live within a certain radius of a possible place for a new branch. But, they also need to aim to pick areas that have low risks of future climate damage. Drought, extreme temperatures and height above sea level are all things to think about for a new business location.

Plan Now to Avoid Problems Later

Companies literally cannot afford to delay their climate change preparedness. Luckily, this list helps them get started in decisive ways that get results.