In the article published by the USGS entitled “Flood Hazards – A National Threat”, the authors note that whereas, on the one hand, fatalities which result from floods has decreased over the last fifty years, on the other, economic losses have contrastingly increased. (USGS, 2006 p. 1) The increase in economic losses is hypothesized to be the result of a growth in urbanization as well as a trend towards coastal development. (USGS, 2006, p. 1) Accordingly, in so far as human fatalities have decreased because of factors such as early warning systems, the economic consequences of floods have not been successfully mitigated. (USGS, 2006, p. 1) This suggests the need for a reevaluation of natural disaster policy with relation to floods in conjunction with a greater economic perspective.
A solution to this problem would therefore be to increase protection of economic concerns such as potential property damage incurred by flooding. This, however, requires a scientific response, in particular, the solutions of engineers to make more efficient systems which lessen natural disaster impact. (USGS, 2006, p. 1) This requires specific developments, such as seeking alternatives for steamgages, which lessen the impact of floods, where they cannot be integrated. (USGS, 2006, p. 1) Nevertheless, another potential solution not mentioned in the article is to reevaluate urbanization and developmental policies in areas that are affected by flooding. Whereas this can be economically damaging to the areas in question, on the other hand, it would also promote economic development in new areas. Accordingly, to successful confront the problem of economic damages incurred by flooding, a broad-range solution would not only include direct interventions in terms of flooding prevention, but also a reevaluation of urbanization policies that have led to increased economic damage from natural disasters despite technological developments.
Business continuity planners and emergency management professionals are often in a state of conflict. This is because the priorities of the two groups can be said to oppose each other in a fundamental sense: whereas business is ultimately determined by factors such as generating profits, this does not necessarily lend itself to long-term emergency management plans. Namely, business planners tend to think of the business paradigm as an isolated paradigm, ignoring potential natural disasters or even taking risks with regards to natural disasters, so as to make their business successful first and foremost. As statistics have shown, however, this has been a failed policy, to the extent that economic damages have risen in the last fifty years, while human fatalities have decreased. (USGS, 2006, p. 1) Accordingly, there appears to be a fundamental disjunction between business and economic planning and emergency management.
Templates such as “Open for Business” are in this regard welcome contributions to the literature on the intersection between business and emergency management, in so far as this text stresses the importance of intelligent planning in relation to natural disasters. Arguably, one of the key factors in improving the relationship between business planning and emergency management is for the former to defer to the latter, to the extent that their needs or aims may not always coincide from a short-term point of view. Essentially, by adopting a long-term point of view, as the “Open for Business” template encourages, business planners are essentially helping their businesses in the long-run. It is precisely through developing such a long-term view point that can facilitate the effectiveness and efficiency of the relationship between business planners and emergency management. In this regard, the specific feature of the template related to “physical resources” is the most relevant, since it is precisely these resources that are being increasingly damaged in natural disasters according to the USGS (2006, p. 1) Strategies which prioritize the protection of physical resources from emergencies can contribute to the reversal of this statistical growth.