Year in Risk 2018

As every risk ­manager knows, the world is as fraught with risk as ever. This becomes even more apparent as natural disasters, cyberattacks, corporate malfeasance and political and economic uncertainty make headlines and create new business concerns. The following review of some of the notable risk events of 2018 can both remind us where we have been and provide insight into the challenges and opportunities we could face in the years to come.

Research Finds Fire-Resistant Building Codes Do Not Raise Home Prices

Homes in wildfire-prone areas around the U.S. could be built to better withstand blazes without increasing the cost of construction, according to a new report.

The research released Tuesday was sponsored in part by the insurance industry and marks the first attempt to quantify the expenses associated with building residences that meet stringent flame-resistant criteria. Few states have adopted such codes, often citing housing costs, but the new findings suggest fire-plagued communities could curb damage and save lives with minimal effect on home buyers.

Wildfire Camera System Provides a Small Measure of Good News in California

As California grapples with increasingly deadly wildfires with seemingly few real solutions, one small but effective way of saving communities is getting more attention and traction: deploying a network of infrared cameras on mountaintops and other high hazard areas.

The AlertWildfire network, consisting of some 80 cameras already dispersed among California forests, has already proven its worth on several occasions. As recently as last week in San Diego County, cameras caught two fire start-ups and allowed fire personnel to put them down with the appropriate amount of manpower.

Solutions to Wildfires in Time of Climate Change Are Costly, Unpopular

California’s deadly wildfires have a straightforward solution, experts say: stop building homes in places that are likely to burn — and make homes that already exist in those areas a whole lot tougher.

That approach, wildfire and climate policy experts are quick to add, would be expensive and unpopular, especially in a state with both a housing shortage and stunning wooded landscapes that people want to live in. But as climate change causes more frequent and shocking blazes, they say anything less won’t make enough of a difference.

Q&A: California Businesses Prepare for the Next Quake

On October 18, more than 10 million Californians participated in The Great Shakeout to prepare for the next catastrophic earthquake and bring awareness to earthquake preparedness across the state. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) predicts a 99% chance of a magnitude 6.7+ earthquake in the Bay Area within the next 30 years, preparation is essential.

Kate Stillwell is a structural engineer and founder and CEO of Jumpstart, a new earthquake insurance provider which helps families and individuals following a disaster via text. As a business owner and lifelong Californian, Stillwell took part in the Shakeout and shared her experience and insight for earthquake preparedness.

Catastrophic Earthquakes Could Leave 250,000-400,000 Refugees in California

(TNS) - When a catastrophic earthquake hits California, buildings would topple and hundreds of people could be killed.

But what gets less attention is the aftermath of such a huge quake, which could leave whole neighborhoods uninhabitable and hundreds of thousands of people without homes.

Officials are trying to determine where all those refugees would go.

Police Departments Are at a Digital Training Crossroads

Nearly two-thirds of law enforcement personnel reported their agencies use artificial intelligence to some degree for administrative, forensics or social media risk analysis work, according to an Accenture survey released Monday at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Orlando, Florida.

The Dublin, Ireland-based consulting company surveyed 309 employees from policing organizations across six countries, including the U.S., and found 76 percent expected to need new digital skills within five years.

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