RMS Impact Trek 2020: Share Your Expertise and Make a Difference

If you are part of the risk management industry, you are acutely aware of the impact catastrophes have. Because of that understanding, many risk professionals actively help communities in need post-disaster, through donations, working with organizations to promote resilience, or through on the ground assistance.

We are fortunate to say that this is true for everyone at RMS. Our values embrace a stronger understanding of risk, building resiliency, and making a positive impact to improve the lives of communities suffering after disasters. One of the ways we live our values is through our annual RMS Impact Trek, where both RMS employees and our clients work together with the social enterprise Build Change in some of the world’s most catastrophe-prone areas (see the 2019 Impact Trek recap video here).

And for the fifth year in a row, we’re again sponsoring representatives from our clients to join RMS employees and Build Change and share their skills to build stronger communities. If you are an RMS client, we have recently invited your organization to participate in our annual RMS Impact Trek.

Impact Trek 2019 in Manila: RMS employees and clients join together with representatives from Build Change

2020 Focus on Colombia

Our focus for Impact Trek 2020 turns to Bogotá, Colombia. The mission: empower vulnerable communities by ensuring the sustainability of their built environment into the future. Collaborating with Build Change since late 2013, RMS provided an early sponsorship in addition to joint research and shared expertise for their preventive program activities in Latin America, and other vulnerable countries around the world. The partnership in Latin America focused on promoting the benefits of retrofitting homes for low-income families living in informal neighborhoods in Bogotá.

Colombia, and its capital city Bogotá (pop. ~7.4 million) in particular, are exposed to some of the most intense earthquakes on the planet. A magnitude 6.0 quake hit just a few weeks ago on December 24, centered some 100 miles south of Bogotá.

Rebuilding after an event takes time and resources, both of which can be in short supply. With this ever-present threat of an impending earthquake, communities in Colombia need a step change where the built environment can withstand the larger magnitude earthquakes. Working together, we can help assess the potential impact and cost effectiveness of a scaled retrofit program which has already provided vital insight and contributed to a wider acceptance of retrofitting in Colombia – and an increased institutional urgency to deal with the problem.

We can also help contribute to larger scale initiatives with local agencies and government bodies utilizing the latest technologies and socioeconomic data. By contributing our considerable combined knowledge and extensive skills, we can help these communities build a brighter future through stronger homes, schools, and businesses. In doing so, we will also get valuable hands on experience reducing risk while helping to train new leaders in new markets.

RMS will select a handful of client representatives from the applications we receive to join us on the 2020 RMS Impact Trek. This includes all flights from our clients’ locations to Bogotá, Colombia, and all other expenses. The trek will take place between March 20-29, 2020.

While working together with Build Change and RMS employees, clients joining us on the Impact Trek will be able to assist the organization with its operational needs. Participants will have the opportunity to efficiently help diagnose risk based on their understanding of insurance markets and Build Change’s retrofitting expertise and knowledge gained throughout the week in Colombia.

If you would like to join us on this year’s Impact Trek, please apply by January 17, 2020. Refer to this link for useful information regarding any FAQs you may have. We hope that you will consider joining us for our trek from March 20-29, 2020 to further our shared goal of creating a more resilient global society!

Kate Demchak

Associate Program Manager - Technical, Model Development, RMS

Kate joined the Model Specialist team at RMS in late 2016 as a part of the Global Knowledge Center. In her current role as a program manager in the Project Management Organization, she works with numerous teams and organizations on a variety of data, model, and process projects; with the latest project being the release of Version 18.1 Asia Pacific and Taiwan Earthquake models, as well as Location Intelligence API data products. Kate was also a part of the 2019 Impact Trek to the Philippines, which focused on resilience and social awareness.

Prior to her roles at RMS, Kate worked in a variety of meteorological operational forecasting positions including ship routing, energy forecasting, and forecasting for global professional sports teams and aviation companies. She also assisted larger corporations with locations for data centers based on availability of renewable energy sources. Kate received her bachelor's degree in Synoptic Meteorology and Atmospheric Science from Purdue University.