Weather in the United States and around the world was more extreme in 2013, with systems like Typhoon Haiyan, tornadoes in Moore, Oklahoma and flooding in Colorado, but overall the price tag to repair the damage was lower than previous years.
Data that was analyzed by Munich Re found that total losses in 2013 was $125 billion, which is actually lower than the average annual loss of $184 billion in the past 10 years. An increase of continuity of operations planning and technology have contributed to the decrease of fatalities and weather-related damages.
In the United States specifically, regions more susceptible to tornadoes and hurricanes saw record lows. No hurricanes reached Category 1 levels while 900 tornado sightings is lower than the annual average of 1,500. Despite this, the price of weather-related losses still reached $37.5 billion in North America, even though Europe faced many more storms last year, according to CNN Money.
Because of this mismatch between extreme weather, number of incidents and price of losses, government officials and companies should strive to improve their business continuity efforts. Any loss of productivity can impact consumer confidence in the organization, which could have adverse effects long after the storm occurred.
For example, the Polar Vortex has caused problems for many Americans. Early estimates believe that the cost of the cold front will be around $5 billion. Although that figure only accounts for about 0.1. to 0.2 percent of the U.S' gross domestic product, businesses of all sizes were impacted by the storm. Whether it was JetBlue or a small business owner in Indiana, Americans will have to make up for lost time.
Business continuity consultants can help establish ways companies can remain in tact in the face of natural disasters.