Climate change and increasingly severe natural disasters have led to a number of security concerns. Building damage puts data and employees at risk, and detailed security measures have to be taken for employees who can’t leave a workplace in the event of a disaster, such as healthcare staff or first responders. In the summer of 2023, U.S. cities were covered in smoke from Canadian wildfires, showing that the effect of climate change expands far past the disaster itself.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) updated its environmental security practices. First, NATO is working to address climate security in four regions including Southeast Europe, Eastern Europe, South Caucasus and Central Asia. The other organizations involved include the European Union (EU), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The organizations are working to raise funds to address issues such as hazardous material disposal.
NATO is also working to build civil emergency response to natural disasters. According to NATO, every organization should have an emergency response plan, especially those where employees may get stuck in the event of an emergency. Hospitals and college campuses, for example, have both employees and residents to consider if a disaster comes through an area. Organizations should have a detailed evacuation plan and a plan for when evacuation is no longer an option.
NATO also stresses the importance of energy security. Electrical grids can be life or death in the event of a disaster, as seen in the harsh winter storm that hit Texas in 2021. Weatherproofing electric grids is a key element in improving climate resilience. Additionally, NATO highlights the need for varied energy sources to reduce emissions and maintain operations even if one energy source fails.
Building a climate resilient organization ensures data, property and employees are protected in the event of a disaster.