The economic fabric is still not ready

Persistent rain is once again raised the level of the Seine. But the bulk of the economy is still not ready for such an event. By Vincent Balouet, consultant specializing in managing large business risks.

The current rainfall event is intense and causes a rise in the Seine and Marne, heading to the heart of the country’s main economic hub. If a major flood on the Ile-de-France impacts very directly the people, the real challenge, by far, the maintenance of activity in the area. The current episode should not lead to a disaster for this time, but it should be remembered that the plan prepared by the government (protection of underground and sensitive installations) is essentially stalled on a hill “in 1910 “that is to say, corresponding to a risk centennial (with 1 in 100 chance to occur each year). But the more unusual events are increasing, even for some ever seen. Around Paris, Prague has seen a flood “500 tonnes” in 2002, London rainy episode 450 tennis, New York and an 850 terminal at the Sandy storm. In France, we bet on chance and, worse, companies are notoriously under-informed.


Recall the risk in a few words: at first, important consequences on the population (about one million people affected) and already colossal problems to solve, especially in the health sector. Then a direct impact on economic activity (initiation specific business continuity plans in all flood-affected businesses) and financial implications particularly in the property market and especially business and the default risk borrowers for the financial sector. Finally unencrypted impacts to date in terms of potential de-land following a sustainable departure of part of the Parisian employment to regional cities less exposed. Duration of the crisis: from 3 months to 2 years.

Do not bury the subject

What remaining pragmatic? President Macron has made an excellent decision in appointing a “Mr. Reconstruction” to help the St. Martin and St. Barts island after the disaster, Irma. A pilot in the cockpit to adjust quickly and well the problems. This same solution was implemented during the preparation for the introduction and the transition to the Euro, or when bug in 2000. And it worked well.

To protect the economic fabric of Paris, there is nothing, not even a type of site, co-facilitated by public authorities and by a person familiar with the economy and authoritative on business risks. Not difficult, inexpensive and effective, such a device would, for example, require operators of vital importance to communicate effectively with companies saying that their march and no longer walk and forecasts return to normal. .. The business owner can then arbitrate its risk. Today, these same business owners have no idea of the consequences of the economic fabric of a flood as exceptional as those occurring in neighboring countries.