How to mitigate the effects of climate change, natural disasters

Cindy Stauffer is Vice President, Property Specialist with New York City-based insurance firm Marsh McLennan Agency. Opinions are the author’s own.

We all complain about extreme weather — too cold, too hot, too much or too little rain, or too much snow. But few of us are as influenced by bad weather as the construction industry.

It’s no surprise that weather affects construction project plans, material selections, timelines and more. In recent years, severe weather occurrences and climate shifts have created often unexpected problems for the industry. Between 1989 and 2018 there were an average of 520 natural catastrophes every year. In 2019 there were 820 natural catastrophes — almost a 58% increase. 

Excessively strong winds result in injuries from falling or airborne debris from the construction site. Unusually high rainfalls turn ground into unmanageable mud or create deep water problems.

Overly dry conditions often make it impossible to even

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