Archive for 'Pandemic Preparedness'

Risk Management Interview: Nowell Seaman at RIMS Canada

This is the first installment of the Risk Management Interview series on the ClearRisk blog.  Over my business trips, I’ve had the opportunity to meet many risk management thought leaders. I decided it would be a great idea to gather the opinions of various risk management and insurance professionals to share on our risk management blog, and so began this series.

From September 18 to the 21, I am attending the RIMS Canada Conference in Ottawa. This conference gathers risk management and insurance professionals together to learn more about what’s going on in the industry and to share ideas and strategies.

In this short video, I interview Nowell Seaman at the RIMS Canada Conference 2011 in Ottawa. Nowell is the risk manager of the University of Saskatchewan, and he is on the board of directors for RIMS.

I asked Nowell what was on his mind in terms of risk management this week. 
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RIMS Canada Conference: 10 Years Post 9/11

September 11, 2001 is this generation’s Kennedy assassination. It’s the day when everyone knows exactly where they were and what they were doing when they first found out about it. For risk managers in Canada, that day was spent in Ottawa at the RIMS Canada Conference.

RIMS Canada Conference in Ottawa I was walking through the exhibit hall when a friend with BI&I (the Hartford Steam Boiler -Munich Re) asked if I had heard what happened. I spent the rest of the day mesmerized and horrified in front of my hotel room TV. The rest of the conference was sombre and serious as we thought about our industry friends and colleagues that were among the victims that day.

In a few days, risk managers from across Canada and many from the US will once again gather in Ottawa, the nation’s capital. The annual RIMS Canada conference runs from September 18th through 21st. I suspect there will be a lot of reflection about what has changed in the world of risk and risk management since that dreadful day. The short answer: everything.

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H1N1: What Now?

ClearRisk Blog H1N1 What NowNo matter where you are and what industry you work in, you probably have been affected in some way by the H1N1 virus and all the personal and business disruptions that have occurred. We’re beginning to see reports that we’ve seen the worst of the virus and that we’re on the upswing out of its grasp. Other experts are reporting that we are nowhere near to being at the end of this and that a third wave will hit this winter. With such uncertainty, many risk managers are erring on the side of caution.

Economic Impacts

There has also been some debate surrounding the effect swine flu will have on the economy. There are some indications that the virus has had little effect on the US economy. Government simulations have shown its impact as ‘reasonable and manageable’. However, it is anticipated that there could be between a 1 and 4.25-percent decrease in the country’s GDP.

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Following the H1N1 Influenza Outbreak

The spread of the H1N1 virus and its accompanying media coverage has been quite a phenomenal thing to follow over the past few weeks. The momentum that the infection built in a very short period of time is overshadowed only by how quick and how global the human response has been. The number of fatalities linked to H1N1 cases appear to be slowing and medical response to cases are improving.  Past influenza outbreaks similar to this one tend to peter out in North America in the Spring and Summer while they often increase in scope and severity in the Southern Hemisphere (their winter).  The fear is that they will make resurgence in North America in the Fall as a stronger and perhaps more resilient virus.  Now is the time to prepare, not just for this virus, but use this as a wakeup call to make your organization prepared to deal with a Pandemic.

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