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Climate change is affecting all areas of life, including businesses. Natural disasters are becoming a common occurrence within the United States and are projected to rise. Hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, mudslides – these can cause any business to suffer physically and economically. Here are a few ways that natural disasters are affecting business.

Damage to Buildings and Infrastructure

Construction site on damaged business caused by natural disaster
Construction site on damaged business caused by natural disaster

In 2019 alone, extreme weather damaged around $1.2 billion of infrastructure in the U.S. The damage caused by natural accidents can lead to the exposure of infrastructure. This can cause disruptions within infrastructure systems such as water and energy supply. Exposure and damage can cause situations that lead others to get hurt.

Not only is infrastructure affected, but also the company equipment. Chairs, tables, and electronic equipment are things that are subjected to these disasters, and it can cost companies thousands of dollars to replace.

Lack of Sufficient Supplies

Warehouse full of construction supplies

When a natural disaster hits, whether it is a tornado, flood, etc, travel becomes difficult. Roadblocks and stops in bridges become common. Means of transportation are cut off, and immediately shortages takes place for companies. Since the start of the pandemic, companies have faced severe shortages due to COVID-19, and natural disasters have aided in those shortages.

And currently, there is no end in sight for supply chain shortages.

Risk of Losing Customers

Cafe full of customers

When disasters happen, it can lead to a loss of clientele for some businesses. People more than likely don’t want to live in areas where floods or tornadoes occur. Because of this, the customers of these businesses often move away, causing a drop in the number of consumers.

The best way to prevent a huge loss of customers is to develop ways to provide your services differently. Taking advantage of online resources during this time can help businesses stay afloat during these hard times.

Danger to Workers

Many people lose their lives during these disasters, and that also goes for workers. On average, nearly 60,000 people per year are lost due to these catastrophes. Some are also severely injured. If profits are low and the risks are high for injury or death, businesses will take a loss.

Prepare in Advance

Having a plan in place is important for any business. Establish a way to communicate with employees easily. Create alternative ways that can allow employees to work remotely during recovery. Update emergency procedures. Most of all, be proactive in developing a business environment that is safe for employees and customers.

Do you have a plan for when natural disasters affect businesses? Let us know down in the comments.

This article was originally published in GREY Journal.