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Extreme weather events: How hard lessons strengthen resilience

June 6, 2018

PERC Medley Report

Disasters have much in common besides the devastation of lives and property they leave behind. They all teach some of the same hard lessons, whether the destruction comes from floods, fires, windstorms or other events.

Those lessons are as valuable as they are difficult for disaster risk management professionals, making it urgent to use them to better prepare for the possibility of the next big event. Learning what went well and what didn’t is a particularly helpful exercise at a time when businesses, their employees and communities face the growing likelihood that they will be touched by some form of disaster. In fact, the World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report 2018  ranks extreme weather events as the No. 1 global risk in terms of likelihood and second in terms of impact.

But uncovering what went wrong isn’t enough. Once an honest assessment of how the event was managed has been completed, the lessons that have been revealed must be turned into action.

Relying on years of first-hand experience and extensive research, Zurich has brought to light a number of lessons that can be used to prepare for any sort of calamity in virtually any part of the world. Using Zurich’s Post-Event Review Capability (PERC) methodology, we are now able to illustrate strikingly similar challenges faced by risk managers regardless of where they operate or the particular hazards they face.

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