Robert was invited to give a kick-off presentation for the “Response and Resilience” breakout session, where members and prospective members from a wide range of backgrounds –corporations, non-profits, and NGOs – came together to discuss pressing problems in the field.
To set the tone for the conversation, Robert discussed risk mapping and underscored how important understanding risk is to resilience. After all, to be resilient is to be resilient to something.
While there are many ways of defining risk, one way of thinking about it is:
Risk = Hazard x Exposure x Vulnerability
As Robert explained, mapping risk is a way of communicating information. By conceptualizing risk, we can evaluate it and determine how to minimize it.
With that in mind, the Response and Resilience track participants broke into groups to discuss case studies ranging from Hurricane Sandy to floods in the Sudan and Syrian refugees in Jordan. Attendees were asked to consider topics such as
How to improve response to similar events
How NGOs and the private sector can collaborate more effectively
How organizations on the ground can take advantage of real-time risk data
While the case studies up for discussion were diverse, a few common themes emerged:
Community Engagement: In the first few days immediately following a catastrophic event, help from governments and large organizations is hindered by processes and logistics. First response is very localized – neighbors help other neighbors, local emergency services often operate while cut off from central organizations. Engagement at the local level is important to improve ties among community members and provide training so that neighborhoods can react appropriately in the case of a catastrophe.
Networking: With improved networking, community members can help each other more effectively and outsiders can more easily determine how to assist. Many people now take to social media during crises, posting information about trouble areas, linking to resources for fellow victims, and even calling for rescue when trapped. People are using technology to connect beyond their communities. During Hurricane Sandy, people took to Amazon’s gift registry to fulfill desperately needed requests. Donations were tied directly to actual needs, not made based on assumptions of victims’ needs.
Preparation and Incentives: Preparation is key to mitigate the damage of everything from natural disasters to the effects of political conflict. However, many simply don’t understand the risks at play or don’t want to take on the burden of steeling against potential disasters. For this reason, incentives to encourage preparation are crucial. They can take many forms, from financial to social.
Conversations at the CGI Winter Meeting, including those during the panel moderated by former president Bill Clinton at the end of the day, demonstrated just how important the topics of risk and resiliency are to the world at large.
RMS’ work with the CGI will continue to take shape as we work toward the goal of creating a safer and more resilient society.
You May Also Like
February 11, 2016
RMS.com’s New Look
As you may have noticed, RMS.com has a new look and new features. The new site is aimed at delivering the full range of information you need – everything from our products and services, to the latest research and perspectives on industry hot topics, to recent goings-on at RMS.
A few things we hope you’ll get from the new RMS.com:
A better understanding of our products and services
The new RMS.com is designed with you in mind. It features a clearer articulation of RMS products, including models and data by peril, as well as a more robust showcase of our technology and services. Each page includes timely resources such as blog posts, product announcements, and reports, to keep you updated on the most relevant topics.
More ways to continue the conversation
See something that sparks your imagination? Have questions about one of our products? Our new site makes it easier to contact us and share your views. We hope you find the content to be a compelling catalyst for ongoing conversations about how we can help your business, and drive the industry forward together.
A clear, concise view from anywhere
The clean design and streamlined text helps you quickly access the information you need from any device. The responsive design delivers a seamless experience whether you’re viewing on your desktop, tablet, or mobile phone.
The new RMS.com also complements our client portal, RMS Owl, which provides critical business information and services, from product datasheets to customer support, and more.
This is a new beginning: We will continually add content and new functionality as we anticipate your evolving needs. We hope you’ll visit and cruise around the new site and let us know what you think!…
Cynthia is responsible for content creation and marketing program management as a member of RMS' corporate marketing team. She focuses on creating content to help customers at each stage of the buying cycle, as well as developing marketing programs to highlight innovation at RMS – such as social innovation that helps create a safer and more resilient society. She is based in RMS' Silicon Valley headquarters and has degrees in public relations and political science from the University of Southern California.