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A Little Housekeeping

Just a quick administrative note to clue you in on a few minor changes we made to our blog page.  Please notice that we have added a link to the Safe Harbor Consulting facebook business page under the heading of each article.  The “My Page” link will connect you directly to the SHC facebook page where we have additional information, pictures and fun tidbits about SHC and the things our employees are doing.

We have also added a “like” button to each article so you can “like” the individual blog entries of your choosing.  This will help us identify the most popular topics that may suggest follow up blogs are desired.

And, lastly, we have added a “Most Recent Comments” entry on the right hand side of the page to identify those blogs that others have commented on.  Right now we are showing the 5 most recent comments – we would love this to be a more prominent feature of our page and can extend the list should our readers become more active.

The more you interact with us with your “likes” and comments, the better we can judge the viewership and interest in this page – which, in turn, helps motivate us to continue to keep the articles coming.  Tracking software does suggest we are getting lots of hits to this blog, but your input would be valuable in letting us know those hits are of value to you.  Please don’t be shy, your thoughts on the topics we post are very much of interest to us.

Thanks for your help.

The folks at Safe Harbor Consulting.

A Worthy Cause

As a member of the Gig Harbor Midday Rotary Club, I have had the opportunity and priviledge to meet, work with and get to know some really interesting and impressive people; all committed to giving back to society.  In an earlier blog, I shared the story about one such man, Sidney Rittenberg.  Today I would like to tell you about another.

Denny Wilford has actively been involved in assisting the Rotary Club meet one of its original goals, established way back in the early 1900’s; “Help to Eradicate Polio Worldwide.”

If many of you are like me, you probably thought that Polio was a health risk long in our past.  Well, it turns out, that is not true in many third world countries.  Denny is a local Gig Harbor man who has established a foundation to help out in one such country that still has a serious problem with polio – Ethiopia.

Today, Denny shared with us a video which describes the current project he has undertaken.  You can watch this for yourself on You Tube.  I was so moved by the video and Denny’s talk, that I am committed to help Denny raise the remaining funds to complete this project.  And, I am going to ask you for your help.

I would love to make a contribution to the Denny Wilford Foundation on behalf of the Business Continuity / Disaster Recovery / Emergency Management community at large and will commit to a matching donation from Safe Harbor Consulting, up to $500.00.

If you would like to donate to this worthwhile cause as a member of this collective group, please let me know and/or send your checks in care of Safe Harbor Consulting, LLC, 5114 Point Fosdick Drive NW, #E, PMB 425.  I will simply put your donation in an envelope with others, so you as an individual or your organization will be recognized, and present Denny with a “contribution from our industry” including the matching funds from SHC.

If you would rather donate directly to the foundation, you can do so at www.just2drops.com  If you would like your contribution matched by SHC, please drop me a note letting me know you did so as a result of this blog entry.  I will be glad to match that amount up to the established limit.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Eric LeGrand: A different kind of disaster and recovery story

I am going to take advantage of being the ruler of this blog page and go off topic to draw your attention to this story I have been following for a little over a year now.

There is a young man in New Jersey, who, as a member of the Rutgers University Football Team experienced his own disaster on the field of play last year during a football game against Army.  As a father of a Rutgers graduate and a season ticket holder to their football games for 10 years prior to moving out west, I have become an ardent Rutgers Football fan.  I was watching that game on my computer through ESPN3 and immediately recognized that the injury this young man experienced was not good.  My wife heard me yelling from the other room that this was bad.

While participating on the kickoff coverage team, Eric LeGrand made a hit and tackle on the Army return man and immediately fell to the field in such a way that you could tell was not your typical injury.  Eric suffered a severe spinal injury and was left paralyzed from the neck down.

Without going into the story in any more detail I just wish to relay that on Saturday afternoon, this young man will be leading his team out on the field for a football game against West Virginia.  Eric is not fully recovered but his strength in body and spirit, his drive and his ability to adapt are helping this young man make great strides in his recovery.

I know there are those of you who read my blog silently.  It’s fine that you do not post comments, but I think it would be real cool if you just posted a comment to this one saying, “Way to go Eric”, or something of the kind to show your recognition of the struggle and valor that this young athlete has undertaken and shown.  Just click on the “No Comments” or “X Comments” field to add your acknowledgement.

The day after witnessing that play on my PC, I wrote the following poem in honor of Eric.  I am sorry I will not be able to see him roll out on the field in person and one day I hope to see him actually walk out on that field.  I bELieve.  

A GALLANT KNIGHT

The scarlet warrior with foe in sight,
Stops the advance with all his might.
First, a roar of great celebration;
Then a silencing of the elation.

Prideful eyes from thousands of fans,
Watch attentively with folded hands.
On the ground lies one of their own;
A knight fighting gallantly for his home.

From the banks of the ole Raritan,
Prayers and thoughts for Eric LeGrand.
Representing his school and his state;
Of his courage and valor there’s no debate.

Playing a game he dearly loves;
Blessed with ability given from above.
Now relies on his inner strength,
And all our support to every length.

I only know Eric as a Rutgers’ fan,
But some day would like to shake his hand,
And on that day when he retakes the field,
On my knees, to God, I’ll give thanks and kneel.

A Business Continuity Planner’s Theme Song

How many songs do you know that use the word “contingencies” in their lyrics?

Well, I happen to know of one.  And, it just so happens its by one of my all time favorite performers, Harry Chapin – who met up with his own disaster in 1981.

Check out these song lyrics to one of his lesser known songs, “The Rock”.

I remember the first time I heard this song, a long time ago, I thought to myself, “Wow, he’s talking about contingency planning!”  And, just like us, nobody cares to listen to him.  I could relate.

I think this makes for a great theme song for the business continuity, disaster recovery planner – except for the part where he dies saving the town.

Managing the Financial Crisis – Does Business Continuity Have a Role?

Are your business continuity and crisis management programs responsible for addressing financial crises, as well?  Should they be?

Certainly, for many companies, the impacts resulting from the current economic crisis could pose a threat to the solvency of the organization.  And, although the residual effects, physical damages and time sensitivity may not be the same as in the more traditional, physical crises that our plans usually address, I think there are some Command Center, communications and business impact components of traditional business continuity and crisis management programs that could be leveraged during these times.

The concept of contingency planning certainly has a role here.  You could, in a Command Center-like environment, gather your Senior Management teams and start planning contingencies for the various scenarios that could play out and their impacts on your organization.

I am not sure I agree that the BCP/DR planners have a real role here – but, I think we should explore the possibility of using our methodologies and program intellectual capital with regards to critical processes and costs of down-time to help evaluate where changes could be made; how to manage the crisis; and how to most effectively communicate corporate decisions during these times.

Without a doubt – it is a corporate crisis.  And, many of us wear a hat labeled Crisis Management in our respective organizations.  Just wondering how the two come together – if, indeed, they do.

The Revolutionary

I am going to go off topic for this blog post to direct your attention to a new documentary film soon to be released about a fascinating man I have had the opportunity to get to know through weekly lunch meetings with the Gig Harbor Midday Rotary Club.

I first started talking to Sidney because one of my sons is a Linguist in the Navy and is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.  Sidney is a very humble man and it took me a while to realize just how vast his experiences and role in the Chinese history really are.  This web site, about the documentary film being made about the life of Sidney Rittenberg, tells his story much better than I could ever do.  I am making arrangements to attend the premier of the documentary at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA in a few weeks.

I strongly urge you to take few a minutes and look at the interview clips on the web site and, should the documentary, “The Revolutionary” make it to a theater near you, I urge you to check it out.

A Survey: Your Favorite Disaster Movies

Okay, here is another self-serving blog post.  In an attempt to increase the interaction on this blog page, I am going to try to conduct a fun (I hope) little survey.  I can see that this blog page gets a relatively good amount of hits each day, but few (very few, basically almost none) folks are clicking on the “No Comment” button to change it into a “One Comment” or more button.  So – help me out here folks!

So, here goes – the survey question, somewhat related to the topic of the blog, is …

WHAT IS YOUR ALL-TIME FAVORITE DISASTER MOVIE?

This website includes a long list of what it labels “Disaster Movies” – although I think they really stretch the genre definition.  I looked this list over and saw a few of my all time favorites, although I wouldn’t really have labeled them as disaster movies.  These include:  “The Omega Man”; “A Boy and His Dog”; and, “Independence Day”.  I bet there aren’t too many of you who can say you have seen, “A Boy and His Dog”.

So, what are your favorites?  Please enter your favorite(s) in the reply box at the bottom of this post (or, if the reply box does not appear, click on the “No Comments” button to take you to a page formatted for replies).  Maybe some of these can give me ideas for future facilitated exercises … then again, maybe not.

Famous Disasters

Today I am going to take a little break from the typical business continuity and disaster recovery blog to simply direct your attention to this neat little web site I found listing a few historic disasters.  This is by no means an exhaustive list nor do I necessarily believe these are THE most famous disasters of all time, but it is a neat little page with some interesting facts about a few historic disasters.

If you have the chance, check this page out and read the little vignettes about the events listed.

Seems like 2011 could have a list of its own.  One of earlier blogs looked at the incidents that have occurred the past few months.  And, within hours of posting that particular blog, the lights went out in Southern California and the surrounding area.

I hope that the most famous disasters remain in our past, but something tells me we’ve got a few in our near future and that is why we must continue to be diligent and plan for what comes next.

In Memory of John M. Flach

There have been no posts in this blog for one week due to the passing of my father, John M. Flach on August 1.

My father was of great support and inspiration for me throughout my professional career. He provided much advice and guidance along the way. He took pride in my success and was great help when I needed it most. I will truly miss my friend, my mentor and my father – he played all three roles remarkably well.

A Different Kind of Disaster

Today I am off to deal with a different kind of disaster – my golf game!

Actually, with great relief to myself and the houses bordering the golf course, I am working the golf event today and leaving my clubs behind.  Today is Golferittaville – one of the big fund raising events for the Gig Harbor Midday Rotary Club.

We have a full field this year and sponsors from all over.  The team organizing this event did a fantastic job of putting it together, including ensuring we have beautiful Pacific Northwest weather to rule the day – sunny and 70 degrees!.  My apologies to those of you in the rest of the country immersed in this horrific heat wave.

The monies raised from this one event provide almost 50% of the budget we need to support the many charitable causes and scholarship funds we sponsor in the area.

Our other big fund raising event, Harbor Hounds, is on September 17.

My thanks to all of you in the area that are participating in this fun and worthwhile event and I look forward to seeing you out on the course where I will be acting as your Golferittaville cabana boy and judging the golf cart decoration contest.

I hope all of you enjoy your Friday and have a terrific weekend ahead.

Fore!!!!