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Study: Weather-related disasters have increased in the past 30 years

The United States saw seven billion-dollar weather events in 2013.
The United States saw seven billion-dollar weather events in 2013.

Last month, we reported that 2013 was a fairly quiet year for natural disasters, but over the past 30 years weather events have become more frequent.

Weather data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) found that billion-dollar natural disasters predominantly occurred in Tornado Alley, but over time made their way toward other regions within the United States. Fast Co. Exist contributor Ariel Schwartz wrote that as weather becomes more unstable, the cost to bounce back from these dangers may continue to grow.

In 2013 specifically, the East Coast was spared by a quiet hurricane season, but there were seven extreme weather events, like Illinois' late tornado in November, flooding in Colorado and, the Southwest's heat wave, that caused billion-dollar disasters. It is unclear what 2014 has in store for the U.S., but it may be worth establishing a business continuity plan.

"These events included five severe weather and tornado events, a major flood event, and the western drought/heat wave," the NOAA explained. "Overall, these events killed 109 people and had significant economic effects on the areas impacted."

Weather problems have the potential to cause a slew of concerns for business owners and local governments.

For example, if a company with heavy machinery was affected by flooding, the staff may not be able to get back to work if any key equipment was damaged. In situations where electricity is out in a city, will your organization be prepared with a plan to notify customers of potential delays? Business continuity consultants can help governments or business owners develop a plan that best suits their constituents.