So, if you and/or the organization you work for are not yet convinced that you need complete and well-rehearsed Emergency Response, Disaster Recovery, Business Continuity and Crisis Management Plans in place today – I am not sure that you will ever be convinced.
In the past few days we have seen an example of an emergency caused by a direct and willful act to cause harm and destruction in the incident at the Boston Marathon; and, an example of an emergency caused through accidental means in West, Texas. These events occurred as some companies continue to assess their responses to and management of the disruptions caused by Superstorm Sandy – an example of an emergency caused by nature.
Unfortunately, we don’t have to go very far back in our recent history to discover other compelling examples of why we need to be prepared for these types of emergencies and catastrophes.
It has been less than two weeks ago since I delivered a final Findings and Recommendations Report to a large international company with numerous physical locations in the Northeastern United States that were impacted by the carnage caused from Superstorm Sandy. This analysis included the evaluation of other, like sized companies, in the region and how they responded to and managed this incident. One of the not-so-surprising conclusions reached was that the ability to efficiently and effectively respond to this event was directly related to the amount of pre-planning and plan exercising that had been completed in the years prior to the storm. This is a common finding following most of these types of incidents. Those organizations that prepare for and practice their responses to emergencies fare better during these events than those that do not. This only makes sense.
What stops many organizations from preparing and exercising is their belief that they are not susceptible to these types of events. The headlines of the past few days, few months and few years, suggest that that is just not true. Everyone is at risk. Even if you are not in an area that experiences violent weather events, floods or earthquakes; even if you operate in an area that is relatively secure and isolated, the Boston Marathon and West, Texas incidents should prove – that it just doesn’t matter.
Bad things can and will occur. Be prepared. You owe it to your employees, your customers and family. If you think otherwise now, you are just not paying attention. Hoping that nothing happens is no longer a valid strategy.
Once again – our thoughts and prayers go out to yet another community in West, Texas, having to deal with the tragic loss of lives and homes. I hate to think about what the next headline might bring.