Disaster prep still lacking

A decade on from Hurricane Katrina becoming the US’ costliest ever natural disaster, it still has plenty of lessons to teach Australian businesses about preparedness, according to a new report.

Katrina obliterated large parts of the Gulf Coast in 2005, killing at least 1245 people and causing an estimated $US108 billion in property damage alone.

Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty (AGCS) has conducted a detailed analysis of losses from the storm and found there was a growing gap in disaster preparedness, particularly in Asia.

AGCS Pacific CEO Holger Schaefer says the severity of windstorm risk is only going to increase.

“50% of the world’s top ten cities in terms of assets exposed to windstorm are in industrial parks in Asia and this is predicted to increase to 80% by 2070,” he says.

“These cities form an integral part of the global supply chain, particularly for businesses based in the Pacific region, and thus requires careful assessment of the windstorm supply chain risks for such companies.”

Allianz Risk Consulting Pacific Regional Manager Iain Ritchie says there is scientific consensus that the severity of windstorm events is growing.

“Not only is pre- and post-loss risk management crucial in mitigating the impact of increasing windstorm losses, risk management should also focus on loss minimisation during windstorm events,” he says.

“Business continuity planning must also incorporate direct as well as indirect supply chain exposures to be effective.”

To read the report, click here.