Risk Roundup for January and February 2018

Our first Risk Roundup of the year takes us to Hawaii for a false missile alert, over to PyeongChang for risks averted, then home laid up in bed with the flu and worried about extreme weather events. They’re our top risks for January and February.  

Risk of human error
“Emergency Alert. BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” That’s the text that Hawaii residents received at 8:07 am on January 13. It wasn’t a drill. It was an incident of human error traced to one employee who pushed the wrong button.  It begs questions. Do we need more safeguards to prevent human error? Should we trust the decision to a machine?  Should we revisit policies and procedures? What early warning risk indicators do you need to review?  

2018 Olympics. Gold goes to risks managed 
Sure, there were some state-sponsored cyberattacks associated with the just completed 2018 Winter Olympics, but major risks were averted. Drones that could have been used in terrorist acts instead created an amazing spectacle in the sky. Risk management earns the gold.  

Look what flu in
The flu epidemic of 2018 caught everyone by surprise. It’s a public health crisis and bad for business. According to Fortune, time off for flu could result in more than $15 billion in lost productivity in the US alone. High flu activity strains our healthcare delivery system with crowded doctor offices, an uptick in hospital visits, and deadly consequences. What events outside of your control could happen and affect your company? It’s time to dust off your business continuity plans.  

Extreme weather events
According to the World Economic Forum, extreme weather events and natural disasters are the likeliest global risks to occur in 2018. Do you have a key supplier in another country? You only need to consider the hurricane that hit Puerto Rico, damaged the power grid, and impacted US hospitals. Extreme weather can be extremely bad for business operations.  

That’s it for our inaugural edition of Risk Roundup. We’ll be back in early May with a roundup of notable risks from March and April.  

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