natural disasters http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/13510/all en-US How Natural Disasters Can Change Pricing Worldwide http://www.wisebread.com/how-natural-disasters-can-change-pricing-worldwide <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-natural-disasters-can-change-pricing-worldwide" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/post-tsunami.jpg" alt="Recovery workers after a tsumani" title="Recovery workers after a tsumani" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="134" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Millions of natural disasters occur around the world each year, from volcanic eruptions to wildfires to tsunami. As implied by the term &ldquo;disaster,&rdquo; these events can have devastating effects on human life, local economies, and the environment itself. Historically, natural disasters have caused a lot of damage to pricing schemes, as we can see from the following. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/party-like-its-1999-the-psychology-of-pricing">The Psychology of Pricing</a>)</p> <h2>Earthquakes and Tsunami</h2> <p>With the United States&rsquo; Geological Survey&rsquo;s most recent <a href="http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eqarchives/year/eqstats.php">report on earthquakes</a> stating that its National Earthquake Information Centers are detecting up to fifty earthquakes per day (approximately 20,000 per year) and millions more are suspected to occur without detection, it&rsquo;s not surprising to see how earthquakes create not only tremors in the ground, but also in pricing for various goods in the market.</p> <p>Case in point &mdash; the devastating 9.0 earthquake off the coast of Japan that occurred on March 11, 2011. As one of the biggest exporters of technological products in the world, companies based in Japan faced a harrowing situation with the subsequent blackouts and parts shortages correlated to the earthquake and tsunami that struck the region. <a href="http://techland.time.com/2011/03/15/japan-earthquake-tech-supply-shortages/">TIME Magazine</a> reported that items such as televisions, PCs, and phones were (and still are) likely to see a rise in prices following the catastrophe. With factories shut down or wiped out altogether, the streamlined creation process for these technologies experienced a severe disruption in wake of these events, and we can see from historical evidence that this isn&rsquo;t the last time an earthquake will lead to a spike in prices due to industrial interruptions.</p> <h2>Global Warming</h2> <p>We&rsquo;ve been hearing about this one for years. From Al Gore&rsquo;s <em>An Inconvenient Truth</em> to the Kyoto Protocol (from which Canada recently withdrew and the United States has yet to ratify), global warming seems to be a major threat posed to our world today. While there are mixed views on the causes and even the very existence of this climate change, one thing is for sure &mdash; the regulations placed on corporations could potentially send prices soaring. This isn&rsquo;t to say these policies are not beneficial &mdash; the debate over whether we should protect the environment or the economy first and foremost will never cease &mdash; but when the operating costs for these companies rise as a result, they are more inclined to pass these costs along to consumers.</p> <p>As a 2009 Forbes article on the <a href="http://www.forbes.com/2009/06/08/waxman-markey-bill-carbon-emission-opinions-contributors-cap-and-trade.html">Cap and Trade Bill</a> stated, politicians in countries across the globe are enacting legislative measures that would require corporations to buy emissions permits for every ton of CO2 generated. While this is a great step towards cleaner, more efficient energy usage, it could also further damage the economy by sending energy prices upward, thus hurting consumers. Regardless of the &ldquo;correct&rdquo; view on the existence and severity of global warming, one thing is for certain &mdash; this will continue to affect price levels for years to come.</p> <h2>Drought</h2> <p>Have you ever read John Steinbeck&rsquo;s <em>The Grapes of Wrath</em>? The Dust Bowl of the 1930s &mdash; during which the story takes place &mdash; was more than just fiction. The droughts and unusually high temperatures during the Great Depression negatively affected thousands of farmers and people who couldn&rsquo;t afford the food prices when the supply diminished, and we continue to see these problems persisting to this very day. The Horn of Africa is currently experiencing its <a href="http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=39271">worst drought in nearly six decades</a>. Food prices are only making the problem worse for the millions of people in the region, as even staple items such as maize and milk are on the rise. Anyone who has taken an Economics 101 class knows that supply has an inverse relationship with the price of goods, so with less and less food being grown each year, the famine continues to worsen for those who can&rsquo;t afford the surge in <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-grocery-shop-for-five-on-100-a-week">prices for food</a>.</p> <h2>Torrential Rains</h2> <p>Contrary to a severe dry season, torrential rains can also lead to a terrible supply shock, as seen in the current Norwegian butter crisis. After an uncommonly wet summer season in Norway, the quality of grazing land for the cows diminished, leading to a sharp drop in the availability of this basic dairy good. As with the rest of the supply shortages as seen in other natural disasters listed above, prices have increased for Norwegians who have been waiting weeks for butter imports.</p> <p>Torrential rains can also cause flooding, which generally devalues homes in the area and shuts down <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/choosing-local-businesses">local businesses</a>, economically hurting both the owners and customers in the region.</p> <p>With the Earth&rsquo;s carrying capacity being stretched to its limits, we are bound to see more natural disasters occurring in the future. With natural disasters comes a loss of life, as well as potentially destructive impacts on pricing in countries around the world. Our governments do what they can to alleviate the hazards before a disaster strikes, but the funding and technology in the status quo isn&rsquo;t enough to prevent them from happening. Ultimately, only our mitigation efforts can be the keys to softening the blow when these catastrophes strike.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kelly-kehoe">Kelly Kehoe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-natural-disasters-can-change-pricing-worldwide">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/energy-price-spikes">Energy Price Spikes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-a-little-inflation-be-good">Can a Little Inflation Be Good?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-more-by-avoiding-multiple-bank-accounts">Save More by Avoiding Multiple Bank Accounts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-your-smartphone-saves-you-money">8 Ways Your Smartphone Saves You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-things-every-frugal-person-should-have-in-their-wallet">The 7 Things Every Frugal Person Should Have In Their Wallet</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Financial News natural disasters rising prices supply and demand Fri, 06 Jan 2012 10:48:18 +0000 Kelly Kehoe 843450 at http://www.wisebread.com Does Your Business Need a Crisis Response Plan? http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/does-your-business-need-a-crisis-response-plan <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/does-your-business-need-a-crisis-response-plan" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/does-your-business-need-a-crisis-response-plan</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/does-your-business-need-a-crisis-response-plan" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000015215413Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Just a few weeks ago, I was working in my home office when the whole house began to shake. It may have seemed minor to anyone who has lived in California, but an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.8 is a big deal for those of us on the US east coast.</p> <p>Many businesses sent their employees home, either because they wanted to check their buildings for potential damage or because those employees needed to deal with personal matters, like picking children up from the many schools that closed.</p> <p>A week later, a hurricane swept up the same coast. That led to more downtime for businesses that needed to batten down the hatches and, in many cases, make repair afterwards. There was more warning for the hurricane than the earthquake, but it was still tough for many businesses to handle.</p> <p><strong>The Big Problem is Planning</strong></p> <p>The simple truth is that, as business owners, most of us are focused on building our businesses. We can be so busy working on the opportunities in front of us that we often forget to do any contingency palnning. In fact, at the time of the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bizforum.org/whitepapers/kamer.htm">9/11 attacks</a> only 19 percent of CEOs reported having a crisis management plan in place, according to PRWeek. But that sort of planning is absolutely crucial.</p> <p>There&rsquo;s no way to plan for <a target="_blank" href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/insurance-overview-for-small-business-owners-1">every eventuality</a>, but there are a lot of generalized responses that you can put together. In the process of creating a crisis response plan, you may spot some weaknesses in your business&rsquo; operations that you can take steps to fix now.</p> <p><b>Categories of Catastrophes</b></p> <p>Think in terms of categories of potential issues, rather than every possible permutation. That will you will have options that you can adapt to different situations. After all, what you need to do in the event of a blackout will be different than what you&rsquo;ll need to do in the event of a full-fledged evacuation. Where possible, you might want to consider preventative steps you can take, as well.</p> <p>There are plenty of companies that specialize in handling every aspect of crisis management, from prevention to recovery. The price tag can get a little steep for a small business owner, and it is certainly possible to put together a plan for your business without those companies&rsquo; guidance, provided you can invest some time in the process.</p> <p><strong>The Crises Worth Planning For</strong></p> <p>There are plenty of natural disasters that could potentially strike your business, to the point that it can feel absolutely overwhelming to start planning. A more manageable approach can be to think in terms of what you actually need to operate your business&mdash;and what you would need to do if you had to go without.</p> <p><b>Make a List</b></p> <p>You can start by just making a list of what you use every day in the course of running your business. Dig down deeper than just the obvious, though: if you boot up your computer, you&rsquo;re not just using your computer. You&rsquo;re using electricity, an internet connection, software, and perhaps even some web applications.</p> <p>Don&rsquo;t forget to think about a crisis that might remove <em>you </em>from the equation. If an employee or one of your family members had to step in and handle your business for you, having a plan in place they can follow&mdash;typically referred to as a continuity plan&mdash;is crucial. The same goes for the employees who work for you. Especially if you work with a remote team, a team member may be unexpectedly unavailable, for days or even weeks.</p> <p><strong>Documenting Your Crisis Response Plan</strong></p> <p>Keeping your crisis response plan in your head is a sure way to make managing a crisis harder. If a hurricane is headed your way or you just rode out an earthquake, you&rsquo;re going to be stressed&mdash;ask anyone living in the Mid-Atlantic region. You&rsquo;re bound to forget at least a few details.</p> <p>With a written set of guidelines, you can respond quickly. A checklist is nice, especially in situations like an evacuation, when you may have to do a lot in a very short period of time.</p> <p>Be sure to have multiple copies of your plan available, in multiple locations. Storing it on your laptop is great&mdash;but what happens if the battery runs down and you can&rsquo;t recharge? For once, this is a situation where electronic tools shouldn&rsquo;t be your main choice. Sure, you should keep a couple of copies on different computers and in the cloud, but you absolutely need to print out a couple of copies as well.</p> <p>You&rsquo;ll find that it&rsquo;s worth running drills, as well, even if it&rsquo;s just you in the office. Practicing the steps you&rsquo;ll need to deal with a certain situation can help you find potential problems in your plan. Solving such issues now means one less thing to worry about in the event that there&rsquo;s real trouble. You may also notice opportunities for preventing certain situations: even something as simple as setting up off-site backups for your computer files can save your bacon in the event that a crisis wipes out your desktop or laptop.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-bram">Thursday Bram</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/does-your-business-need-a-crisis-response-plan">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-safest-cities-in-america-from-natural-disasters">10 Safest Cities in America from Natural Disasters</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-helpful-tools-to-manage-your-small-business">6 Helpful Tools to Manage Your Small Business</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-protect-your-business-during-a-divorce">5 Ways to Protect Your Business During a Divorce</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center Crisis crisis planning disaster planning disasters natural disasters small business Thu, 22 Sep 2011 21:49:01 +0000 Thursday Bram 705939 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Safest Cities in America from Natural Disasters http://www.wisebread.com/10-safest-cities-in-america-from-natural-disasters <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-safest-cities-in-america-from-natural-disasters" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/park.jpg" alt="Safe park" title="Safe park" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>After the recent earthquake in Japan that triggered tsunamis from Japan&rsquo;s northeastern coast to the northern coast of California, it&rsquo;s no wonder that people are concerned not only about the safety of the people in Japan, but also about the safety of the area in which they live. After all, it seems that devastating natural disasters have been <a href="http://www.emdat.be/natural-disasters-trends">occurring with increasing frequency</a> in recent years. So where are the safest cities in our own country? Here is a list of ten U.S. cities that have a low likelihood of being struck by a major natural disaster. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-need-a-disaster-survival-kit">Do You Need a Disaster Survival Kit?</a>)</p> <h2>The Methodology</h2> <p>From a list of American cities with populations over 100,000, those cities that had a higher likelihood of being struck by tornadoes (in Tornado Alley) were eliminated, as were those cities that were more likely to be hit by a hurricane (Gulf Coast cities and some Atlantic Coast cities). Cities that had a higher probability of experiencing a tsunami (Pacific Coast cities) or that were <a href="http://www.nationalatlas.gov/dynamic/dyn_vol-us.html">located near active volcanoes</a> (concentrated in the Pacific Northwest) were also eliminated. Finally, cities in areas most likely to <a href="http://earthquake.usgs.gov/hazards/products/graphic2pct50.jpg">experience earthquakes</a> (according to the U.S. Geological Survey) were removed from the list.</p> <p>Once the list was narrowed down from 276 to under 100, the top ten were picked based on <a href="http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/preliminary-crime-in-the-us-2009/downloads">low violent crime rates</a> &mdash; although not a natural disaster, crime rates are also a relative measure of safety.</p> <h2>1. Chesapeake, Virginia</h2> <p><img width="605" height="403" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u11/4578425529_775eba2b59_z.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Population: 222,455<br /> Violent Crime per 100,000 Residents: 158<br /> Best Known For: The Great Dismal Swamp Wildlife Refuge, whose northeastern corner is located in the boundaries of the city. Chesapeake is also known for its location on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.</p> <h2>2. Erie, Pennsylvania</h2> <p><img width="605" height="443" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u11/4415407150_3848ce8d4e_z.jpg" /></p> <p>Population: 103,571<br /> Violent Crimes per 100,000 Residents: 219<br /> Best Known For: Presque Isle State Park, an arc-shaped peninsula in Lake Erie that is a popular destination for hiking, swimming, fishing and boating.</p> <h2>3. Fort Wayne, Indiana</h2> <p><img width="605" height="402" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u11/26213244_44ae5f06f6_z.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Population: 255,890<br /> Violent Crime per 100,000 Residents: 184<br /> Best Known For: The Fort Wayne Daisies, which is the town&rsquo;s professional women&rsquo;s baseball team featured in the movie <em>A League of Their Own</em>.</p> <h2>4. Grand Rapids, Michigan</h2> <p><img width="605" height="404" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u11/3463817143_29fd8ee6dd_z.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Population: 193,710<br /> Violent Crime per 100,000 Residents: 395<br /> Best Known For: Its location on the banks of the Grand River. Grand Rapids is also known for its Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, a 132-acre attraction that hosts the largest outdoor sculpture collection in the Midwest.</p> <h2>5. Green Bay, Wisconsin</h2> <p><img width="605" height="454" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u11/2213907822_50be6d0076_z.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Population: 101,412<br /> Violent Crime per 100,000 Residents: 215<br /> Best Known For: Its location at the mouth of Fox River on Lake Michigan, and the Green Bay Packers Football Team. Green Bay is the second-oldest franchise in the NFL.</p> <h2>6. Henderson, Nevada</h2> <p><img width="605" height="405" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u11/4300609851_edd4af10b1_z.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Population: 256,445<br /> Violent Crime per 100,000 Residents: 111<br /> Best Known For: Its proximity to Las Vegas, Nevada, as well as Lake Mead and Hoover Dam.</p> <h2>7. Phoenix, Arizona</h2> <p><img width="605" height="455" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u11/2437783968_8e77831abf_z.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Population: 1,593,659<br /> Violent Crime per 100,000 Residents: 286<br /> Best Known For: Its subtropical arid climate and near-constant sunshine.</p> <h2>8. Provo, Utah</h2> <p><img width="605" height="454" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u11/5068688423_12ca6aff85_z.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Population: 119,775<br /> Violent Crime per 100,000 Residents: 68<br /> Best Known For: Brigham Young University and its conservative culture.</p> <h2>9. St. Paul, Minnesota</h2> <p><img width="605" height="434" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u11/3227597510_3fc40ec934_z.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Population: 281,253<br /> Violent Crime per 100,000 Residents: 341<br /> Best Known For: Its status as one of the Twin Cities, along with Minneapolis, and its unusually cold winters. St. Paul is also known for its Winter Carnival, an event attended by over 350,000 people each year.</p> <h2>10. Stamford, Connecticut</h2> <p><img width="605" height="405" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u11/2343019888_b9ebd80878_z.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Population: 121,026<br /> Violent Crime per 100,000 Residents: 137<br /> Best Known For: Its highly educated population and its status as home to several Fortune 500 companies, including WWE, Pitney Bowes and UBS.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/janey-osterlind">Janey Osterlind</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-safest-cities-in-america-from-natural-disasters">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-things-you-need-in-your-house-to-keep-your-family-safe">20+ Things You Need in Your House to Keep Your Family Safe</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprisingly-dangerous-things-you-have-in-your-home">10 Surprisingly Dangerous Things You Have in Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-cutting-your-landline-is-a-bad-deal">6 Reasons Cutting Your Landline Is a Bad Deal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-ruin-an-antique-how-to-tell-if-you-should-refinish-wooden-furniture">Don&#039;t Ruin an Antique! How to Tell If You Should Refinish Wooden Furniture</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-cheap-easy-ways-to-make-your-home-safer">15 Cheap, Easy Ways to Make Your Home Safer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Home home safety living in safe locations natural disasters Mon, 28 Mar 2011 11:36:08 +0000 Janey Osterlind 511628 at http://www.wisebread.com