Archive for Disaster Prevention


Having spent some time visiting my brother and his family this past weekend, we finally got to talking about how our individual specialties have real synergistic potential to help advance and improve our own fields of expertise.  My brother, Dr. John Flach, is the Professor and Chair of Psychology at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.  John (I don’t have to call him, Dr. Flach) specializes in Human Factors Engineering and has been spending a lot of time studying human factors at time of crisis.

John put me on to this Calamityville project at Wright State which sounds rather interesting.  I get all goose-bumpy thinking about how this could be applied to a number of emergency response practices and organizations.  Interesting stuff I thought you might like to check out.

We then spent a few hours watching a near-disaster take place as my alma mater, the Ohio State University, nearly lost a football game to the University of Toledo – but, that is another story for a different kind of blog.

Check out the Calamityville website and let me know what you think.  Does this sound like something that will work and have potential to give us greater insight in crisis response techniques and practices?  Your comments are welcomed – just don’t tell me you are a Michigan fan!

Disaster Links

Want to read up on everything to do with disasters?  Sounds like a fun evening, huh?

Well, if you do, here is a terrific web page with links to disaster related sites that could keep you busy and entertained for many nights to come.

As business continuity and disaster recovery planning professionals we often have to deal with management teams or individuals who still are willing to believe that disasters will not happen to them – or, at least, not on their watch.  Well, the data and information is piling up to suggest that it is no longer a question of “if”, but of “when”.

I do not believe in the practice of fear-mongering, but it does help to be educated and aware of what disaster threats are out there; what organizations are in place to monitor and respond to them; and, what lessons can be learned by past disastrous events.  This site provides links to all of that.

So, put on your reading glasses, get a glass of your favorite beverage and have fun scaring the crap out of yourself getting educated about the risks and threats that loom out there.

Nobody said business continuity and disaster recovery planning professionals were normal people.

Disaster Prevention

Traditionally and historically, disaster recovery and business continuity programs focus on the aftermath of a disaster and strategies and solutions for getting critical business processes and the technology that supports them up and running in a timeframe necessary to keep the organization solvent.

But, I wonder, do we do enough planning and provisioning to prevent the disasters and their impacts in the first place?  The traditional business continuity planning methodology does include conducting a Risk Analysis to identify threats that could result in a business interruption event.  But, often, this information is simply used to justify the need for creating disaster recovery and business continuity plans and solutions.  Do we, as business continuity planning professionals, spend enough effort on disaster prevention planning and risk mitigation?

Perhaps, that is not our jobs – but, then, who does this?

Now, I am usually the first to say that it doesn’t matter what you do to prevent disasters or protect your facilities, there is always the chance, as small as it might be, that the business will be interrupted and you will require contingencies – but, that doesn’t mean you should not try to prevent disasters and harden your facilities.  The challenge is, getting the right balance between the two, including deciding the best way to allocate limited resources to the planning effort and implemented solutions.

This FEMA web page offers a number of links to resources and articles that can help you identify risks and implement prevention and protection techniques.  I think it is worth your time in reviewing this material.

Again, I don’t think any of this is justification to not create disaster recovery and business continuity plans, I just think it wouldn’t be a bad idea for the business continuity planning professional to also become the disaster prevention planning professional as well.