Coping strategies against extreme weather events: a survey of SMEs in the UK

G. Wedawatta, B. Ingirige, K. Jones

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference publication

Abstract

Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs); which generate more than one half of the employment and turnover, form an important sector of the UK economy. In fact, SMEs are considered as the backbone of the UK economy due to their significant economic and societal importance. Despite SMEs being the main drivers of the UK economy, they are also said to be the most vulnerable to the impacts from various disruptions such as Extreme Weather Events (EWEs). Consequently, increased intensity and frequency of weather extremes in the UK during the recent past has created a significant impact on the SME community. As the threat of EWEs is expected to further increase in future, the need for SMEs to implement effective coping mechanisms to manage the effects of EWEs is also increasing. This paper aims to identify and evaluate the current coping mechanisms implemented by SMEs to ensure their business continuity in the event of a weather extreme. The paper presents the findings of a questionnaire survey, conducted as part of "Community Resilience to Extreme Weather - CREW" research project, addressing this issue. It is identified that SMEs mostly rely on generic business continuity strategies as opposed to property level protection measures. The paper highlights the importance of raising the uptake of coping strategies by SMEs, as many were found without adequate coping strategies to deal with the risk of EWEs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCOBRA 2010
Subtitle of host publicationconstruction, building and real estate research conference of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
PublisherRICS
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)978-1-84219-619-9
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventConstruction, building and real estate research conference of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors - Paris, France
Duration: 2 Sep 20103 Sep 2010

Conference

ConferenceConstruction, building and real estate research conference of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
Abbreviated titleCOBRA 2010
CountryFrance
CityParis
Period2/09/103/09/10

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  • Research Output

    • 1 Conference publication

    Developing a conceptual framework for investigating the resilience of construction SMEs and their supply chains against extreme weather events

    Wedawatta, G., Ingirige, B. & Amaratunga, D., 2010, COBRA 2010: construction, building and real estate research conference of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. RICS, 14 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference publication

  • Cite this

    Wedawatta, G., Ingirige, B., & Jones, K. (2010). Coping strategies against extreme weather events: a survey of SMEs in the UK. In COBRA 2010: construction, building and real estate research conference of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors RICS.