Nepal earthquake a year on – collaboration remains central to building disaster resilience

nepal earthquakeIt has been a been a year since the Nepal earthquake which topped the list of natural disasters in 2015.

The magnitude 7.8 quake that struck outside of Nepal’s capital Kathmandu was the worst to hit the country in more than 80 years.

More than 8,000 people were killed, and more than 450,000 were made homeless.

A central tenet of the Sendai Framework is engaging the private sector in Disaster Risk Reduction, explains Will Nichols, companies heeding this call will reap the benefits of improved resilience

Although widely acknowledged as the hottest year on record, boasting a ‘mega’ El Nino, and punctuated by the Nepal earthquake, 2015 was a remarkably benign year for natural disasters.

Fewer than 23,000 deaths were attributed to natural disasters in 2015 and just 98.5 million people were affected, representing a significant fall on the 10 year average of 76,000 deaths and more than 173 million impacted per year. Meanwhile, the $66.5 billion of damage caused by natural disasters in 2015 marked a fourth successive annual fall, despite the number of incidents recorded by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) increasing slightly in the four years since 2011.

Taking an active role in effective DRR clearly makes a lot of sense for companies – after all, damage to national infrastructure and internal assets, disrupted supply chains, rising exposure as investment grows in hazardous geographies, and a displaced and distressed workforce can impact not just the bottom line, but also pose an existential threat to the organisation itself.

There are three areas that businesses can target in order to build disaster resilience. First, ‘hardening’ operations and supply chains to natural hazard threats to ensure business continuity and worker safety in the event of a disaster. Second, working with governments and communities to build resilience at the local level, which not only improves the robustness of neighbourhood infrastructure businesses rely upon, but also ensures that any affected economies served can be up and running again quickly following an event. And third, companies need to acknowledge the requirement for a culture of accountability towards the risks posed by natural hazards, through corporate reporting and disclosure. Investors are increasingly aware of risks pertaining to natural hazards and are demanding greater transparency from companies around how they are dealing with them. To read more click here.

The 5th Australian and New Zealand Disaster and Emergency Management Conference will be held at Jupiters Gold Coast, QLD on the 30-31 May 2016. The Conference theme ‘EARTH, FIRE and RAIN’ will continue to examine issues that impact preparedness, resilience, response and capability.

To register for the conference CLICK HERE. Early Bird Registrations Close: Monday 18 April 2016 so be quick to receive a discounted rate.

Delegates may also wish to attend the 2016 Australian and New Zealand Search and Rescue Conference (ANZSAR); Land, Sea & Air which will follow the Disaster and Emergency Management Conference on 1st June discussing the issues and challenges in Search and Rescue and continue the support of professional development in new training, techniques and requirements.

Special discount rates are being offered to those that wish to attend both Conferences.