SME resilience to extreme weather events: important initiatives for informing policy making in the area

Bingunath Ingirige, Gayan Wedawatta

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Enhancing the resilience of local communities to weather extremes has gained significant interest over the years, amidst the increased intensity and frequency of such events. The fact that such weather extremes are forecast to further increase in number and severity in future has added extra weight to the importance of the issue. As a local community consists of a number of community groups such as households, businesses and policy makers, the actions of different community groups in combination will determine the resilience of the community as a whole. An important role has to be played by Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs); which is an integral segment of a local community in the UK, in this regard. While it is recognised that they are vital to the economy of a country and determines the prosperity of communities, they are increasingly vulnerable to effects of extreme weather. This paper discusses some of the exploratory studies conducted in the UK on SMEs and their ability to cope with extreme weather events, specifically flooding. Although a reasonable level of awareness of the risk was observed among the SMEs, this has not always resulted in increased preparedness even if they are located in areas at risk of flooding. The attitude and the motivation to change differed widely between SMEs. The paper presents schemas by which the SMEs can identify their vulnerability better so that they can be populated among a community of SMEs, which can be taken forward to inform policy making in this area. Therefore the main contribution the paper makes to the body of knowledge in the area is a novel way to communicate to SMEs on improving resilience against extreme weather, which will inform some of the policy making initiatives in the UK.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Event7th Annual International Conference of International Institute for Infrastructure, Renewal and Reconstruction - Kandalama, Sri Lanka
Duration: 19 Jul 201121 Jul 2011

Conference

Conference7th Annual International Conference of International Institute for Infrastructure, Renewal and Reconstruction
Abbreviated titleIIIRR
CountrySri Lanka
CityKandalama
Period19/07/1121/07/11
OtherInternational Conference on Building Resilience

Bibliographical note

© 2011 The Authors

Keywords

  • Extreme Weather Events
  • Flood risk
  • SMEs
  • Resilience

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  • Research Output

    Case study as a research strategy: investigating extreme weather resilience of construction SMEs in the UK

    Wedawatta, G., Ingirige, B. & Amaratunga, D., 2011. 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

    Open Access
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  • Cite this

    Ingirige, B., & Wedawatta, G. (2011). SME resilience to extreme weather events: important initiatives for informing policy making in the area. Paper presented at 7th Annual International Conference of International Institute for Infrastructure, Renewal and Reconstruction, Kandalama, Sri Lanka. http://iiirr.ucalgary.ca/files/iiirr/208.pdf