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SimZone on Tour
Businesses face rising challenges from climate risks, with floods, hurricanes and wildfires causing billions of dollars in property damage each year and disrupting supply chains.
FM Global’s SimZone — a warehouse-sized risk management training facility in Norwood, Massachusetts — opened in 2011 to provide risk professionals with hands-on training by simulating property hazards and helping them take steps to mitigate risk. Its success led to a second SimZone facility in Singapore that opened earlier this year.
But what if a wider group of risk managers, C-suite executives and others could get the same interactive experience without having to hop on an airplane? That’s how the SimZone on Tour was born.
In a world of restricted travel due to tight budgets and the pandemic, taking the SimZone on the road enables more risk professionals to see how they can control the impact of climate risk on their business, said Connor Gormley, staff vice president and brand experience program manager at FM Global in Johnston, Rhode Island.
“The motivation for this was to have a broader reach. Rather than maybe just one or two people being able to travel to our facility, when we show up right outside of a client location, we might see 100 or more per day,” Mr. Gormley said.
“It helps us spread the message and gets everyone across the organization in alignment on how they contribute to protecting property,” he said.
Risk managers stepping on board the 53-foot expandable tractor trailer might begin their experience at the insurer’s global flood map, which offers an aerial view of what their flood exposures could be.
They then work through a flood scenario at a facility, getting their hands wet at an interactive model flood table and learning how flood barriers and other devices can prevent loss. When the facility is re-flooded, they see just how successful they were at reducing loss. They also get to test and compare different materials and products to protect their buildings.
Since its launch at the Risk and Insurance Management Society Inc. conference in San Francisco in April, the SimZone on Tour has visited about a dozen states and hosted 400 to 500 risk managers per month, mostly at policyholder locations, Mr. Gormley said.
The experience, which is offered at no cost to the mutual insurer’s policyholders, can be customized to each business based on its exposures. More than 50% of its focus is on climate, specifically flooding, high winds and wildfire, Mr. Gormley said.