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Risk in Context

Trio of Typhoons in Asia Can Disrupt Your Operations

Posted by Robert W. O’Brien July 10, 2015

Although the outlook for a below-normal hurricane season in the Atlantic has so far played out as predicted, don’t take your eyes off of your operations on the Pacific coast, or even Asia. Several typhoons formed in Southeast Asia this week, and tropical storm Ela became the first named storm of the Central Pacific hurricane season. Don’t underestimate the value of global preparedness and tested recovery plans.

Typhoons Disrupt Operations in Asia

Ela was upgraded from a tropical depression to a tropical storm tracking north of Hawaii with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph with higher gusts. More significantly, several typhoons have formed in Southeast Asia, with two already making landfall in China and Japan. Typhoon Linfa hit southern China bringing winds of nearly 80 mph. Authorities closed schools, suspended travel, and recalled boats back to ports ahead of the storm.

Typhoon Chan-hom — which may develop into the strongest typhoon to make landfall within 200 miles of Shanghai in at least 35 years — is headed for landfall in eastern China soon. In Okinawa, Japan, Chan-hom injured about 18,000 people and nearly 31,000 customers lost power.

It’s All About Preparedness

Natural catastrophes — from Hurricane Katrina in 2005 to Typhoon Tip in 1979 (the largest and most intense typhoon ever recorded) — can challenge the recovery plans of the most sophisticated organization. The latest storms in the Pacific highlight the need for preparedness and recovery plans to address your risks around the world.

Take these steps if any of your operations are affected by the typhoons:

  • Call your broker. Your insurance advisor can support your business recovery, especially in light of any service interruption issues or property damage.
  • Carefully track and document details in the event of a supply chain disruption. This will assist in the accurate measurement and presentation of claims.
  • Account for affected colleagues. Ensure that human resources policies for dealing with temporary absences are well-understood at all levels, that roles and responsibilities are covered by others as needed, and that disaster-relief and humanitarian assistance plans are activated.

A typhoon preparedness and response checklist can assist you in establishing a clear and actionable plan before a typhoon strikes. It can also help minimize damage to people and property and enable you to recover as quickly as possible.

Robert W. O’Brien

Robert O’Brien, managing director of Marsh USA, Inc. is a senior property claims officer of Marsh’s National Property Claims practice.