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Mainstreaming Natural Hazards Risk Management

Posted By IRMSAInsight, 13 May 2015
IRMSA Breakfast
18 May 2015 


Mainstreaming Natural Hazards Risk Management




Nepal has been struck by two major earthquakes in the last couple of weeks, killing more than 8,000 people. It is the worst natural disaster to strike Nepal since the 1934 Nepal–Bihar earthquake and serves as a stark reminder to business, investors and international organisations that their resilience could be compromised during and after the occurrence of a natural hazard. Global risk analytics and strategic forecasting firms are becoming more important for risk managers that are trying to grapple with a constantly changing external operating environment. The Verisk Maplecroft’s Natural Hazards Risk Atlas, for example, demonstrates that these risks are diverse in nature, ranging from seismic activity, tsunamis, volcanoes and landslides to flooding, tropical storms and cyclones, wildfires and drought. Delving deeper than the national level, risk managers also need to evaluate natural hazards risks down to local levels, in order to pinpoint risks to staff and individual assets.


As a Risk Manager:


  • Are you aware of any natural hazards that your organisation is particularly exposed to?  

  • How has your provision of natural hazards risk-related information been received from your senior management team?

  • Which risk treatments are more effective when attempting to manage this type of risk?


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Reliability of electricity supply in South Africa - what is the risk on your business outlook?


The 2014-2015 World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report ranks the reliability of South Africa’s electricity supply 99th out of 144 countries. Treasury forecasts that SA’s economic growth will be limited to 2% this year because of the power shortages, up from 1.5% in 2014 when strikes stifled mine and factory output. “Electricity constraints hold back growth in manufacturing and mining, and also inhibit investment in housing and raise costs for businesses and households,” Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene alluded in his budget speech. This is detrimental to small business and the economy as a whole.

The acting CEO of Eskom expects power shortages to ease within three to four years as the utility tackles a maintenance backlog and new plants come online.  


Global Competitiveness Report Click Here

Electricity levy to be increased Click Here



  • What does this mean for your business?

  • Where will your business be in the next three to four years in light of this electricity shortage?

  • What interventions has your organisation taken to keep the lights on in your business?

  • Is it perhaps time to put to the test the resilience of those Business Continuity Management plans, at what cost?  


To comment, please click here 



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