Natural disasters happen, sometimes with advance knowledge, but often without warning. Regardless, the continuity of business operations, the protection of property, and the minimization of personnel injuries and trauma require advanced planning. "Information rather than fear, early warning rather than surprise" is the United Nation's concept to initiate a planning process for protecting local communities on a global level from natural disasters, where the physical and social structures are self-sustained after the termination of the event. As a result, the next storm or the next flood do not become disasters, but remain as they should be-manageable natural events.

The extent and impact of a natural disaster can be highly variable and only marginally predictable. According to "Annual Global Climate and Catastrophe Report" (Aon Benfield 2014) the year 2013 reported economic losses of US$192 billion, which was 4 percent below the ten-year average of US $200 billion. The losses represented 296 separate events worldwide, which was actually higher than the 10-year average, but also set a new record of 41 weather disasters with over US$1 billion in losses. Included in this summary is super typhoon Haiyan that killed approximately 8,000 people with damage estimates of US$13 billion. This event alone left the world with an image of massive destruction that Secretary of State John Kerry described as, "You can see an unmistakable example of what an extreme weather event looks like, and the reminder of our responsibility to act to protect the future" (Bradsher 2013).

On November 1, 2013, U.S. President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order titled "Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change" with the intent to "pursue new strategies to improve the Nation's preparedness and resilience" (The White House 2013). This followed a series of natural disasters that struck the U.S. in 2012 as shown in Table 1.

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