In just a matter of days, locations on the East Coast of the United States will experience both a disaster that comes with some advance warning, in Hurricane Irene, and a disaster that seemingly pops up out of nowhere, with no advance warning, in the earthquake centered in Virginia.
For events like a hurricane, organizations should have a checklist of actions to take 72, 48 and/or 24 hours before impact that can prepare them for the potential threat and lessen the impact of the event.
For scenarios like the one that played out yesterday on the east coast, organizations need to be ready in a moments notice to react, respond and recover from the threat.
Luckily, yesterday’s earthquake had limited impact to both domestic and corporate facilities – although there may have been a few laundry bills that had to be paid. And, hopefully, Hurricane Irene will, likewise, have limited impact on the East Coast.
In both cases, however, there should be plenty of opportunity to learn a few lessons to improve our overall disaster preparedness posture – let’s hope organizations take advantage of this opportunity.
And, even if your company or home does not and did not lie in the path of either of these two events, you can prepare yourself for similar scenarios and … test, test, test your level of preparedness through plan walkthroughs, table top exercises and/or mock disasters.
I hope you fared well in yesterdays earthquake and that Irene decides to pass us by unharmed. But, I also hope each event allows you to take advantage of the heightened awareness of the possibility of crises to update, improve and better socialize your crisis management, emergency preapredness, business continuity and disaster recovery programs.