, the public policy division of The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE:
), will host its fourth annual “Kicking Off Hurricane Preparedness Season” symposium today at the Dirksen Senate Office Building. According to predictions from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there is a 70 percent likelihood of 8-13 named storms for the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season.
Travelers is partnering with the
Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety
(IBHS) on this year’s symposium to highlight the importance of disaster preparation and resiliency for both businesses and individuals. According to the recently released
Travelers Business Risk Index
, nearly half (47 percent) of those surveyed stated their business does not have a formal continuity plan in place, putting those companies at risk in the event of a severe weather occurrence.
“Though last year was a relatively quiet hurricane season in the U.S., businesses and individuals should not become complacent,” said Joan Woodward, President of the Travelers Institute and Executive Vice President of Public Policy at Travelers. “Proactive disaster preparation can significantly help to mitigate the effects of and recover from a storm.”
Leaders from the private sector and academia will explore disaster preparedness tactics and resiliency ahead of the 2014 hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, while sharing lessons learned from prior weather events.
This year’s panel discussion, moderated by Woodward, will include the following risk preparedness professionals:
- Debra T. Ballen, General Counsel and Senior Vice President, Public Policy, IBHS
- Stephen E. Flynn, Professor of Political Science; Director, Center for Resilience Studies; Co-Director, George J. Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security, Northeastern University
- Scott Humphrey, Director of Technical Service, Risk Control, Travelers
“The evidence is clear that communities with disaster preparedness plans in place have a higher level of community resilience, which means lower disaster recovery costs overall, reduced government post-disaster aid and most importantly fewer lives lost,” Ballen said.