Population clusters are highly vulnerable to natural and technological disasters that trigger these catastrophic events.
Unpredictable and highly impactful events having negative impacts — so-called "black swans" — are deemed to be so unlikely that it is unreasonably expensive to prepare for them.
While thought to be rare events, black swans do occur with regularity and increasing frequency.
As global populations grow, people concentrate in coastal cities that rely on advanced technologies. As a result, these population clusters are highly vulnerable to natural and technological disasters that trigger these events.
These events can evolve from human error, negligence, malicious actions or acts of nature.
Regardless of their cause, they:
- Occur unpredictably or unexpectedly
- Develop rapidly and continue for days, weeks, and even months
- Are catastrophic in scale and broad in scope
- Present hazards beyond immediate financial risks, jeopardizing lives, long-term health and the environment
- Involve significant asset damage or loss
Our series, 5: insights for executives, explores five questions regarding unexpected catastrophic events: