Tag Archive for earthquake

Earthquake in Turkey

Earthquakes in foreign countries and underdeveloped, remote regions certainly have less business continuity impact and garner less of our attention, but the destruction, devastation and loss of life is no less tragic and no less heartbreaking.  Our thoughts and best wishes go out to the people of Turkey and the surrounding areas impacted by the devastating earthquake experienced there over this week-end.

The, now reported, 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit near the cities of Ercis and Van in eastern Turkey over the weekend has resulted in enormous damage to the two cities and numerous villages in the area.  Rescue efforts are still underway as both death tolls and stories of survival continue to rise.  There have been, and no doubt will continue to be, a number of large after-shocks that will add to the terror and losses.

We, at Safe Harbor Consulting, will continue to follow the news stories and hope for more accounts of rescues and survival.  If there are stories of lessons learned from this event that might be applicable to other regions of the world, we will attempt to pass those along as well.  For now, we just hope and pray for the best.  We invite you do to do as well.

Is 2011 Becoming the Year of the Disaster?

What is going on with the weather this year?  My wife and I moved out to the Pacific Northwest over three years ago, for reasons I will not bore you with, and are sitting up here without a worry in the world, while the rest of the country has been bombarded with weather and geological related incidents one right after another.

This year has truly been an epic year in terms of these events in the United States.  Certainly, each and every year brings its own challenges, but this year seems to be one right after the other.

We kicked off this year with the Groundhog Day Blizzard that crippled much of the nation from New Mexico and Northern Texas to New England and Eastern Canada.  Who knew at that time that this was just the beginning?

Shortly after this huge snowstorm, which contributed to the next crisis, the flooding began.  We have had historic levels of flooding on the Mississippi River, Missouri River and others. 

Then, the tornadoes started to occur.  The 2011 tornado season was one of the worst on record seemingly making the news every night with a new city being devastated.  According to this Wikipedia article, there have been 1,764 tornadoes in the US in 2011 – that’s a lot of tornadoes and a lot of damage!

Then, while the weather takes a little break, we get a nice little earthquake on the East Coast.  Nothing real significant (easy to say, sitting here in Gig Harbor, WA) but just a little something to rattle the cages of those who didn’t expect an earthquake to be rattling their cages.

And, that “little break” the weather took didn’t last long, as right on the heels of the earthquake, Hurricane Irene decided to give the East Coast a visit.  It turns out she was not as bad as some prognosticators predicted, but she was pretty bad nonetheless.

So, what’s next?  Oh, how about a few little Texas fires – and by little, I mean Texas-style little, which is pretty huge to the rest of us.  A little more flooding in the Northeast, perhaps – check.

I am currently working with an East Coast company to help them plan for an Emergency Response exercise.  We are quickly reaching the conclusion that they do not have to exercise given the number of real life implementations they have had and are even now currently experiencing with more floods in New Jersey.  Enough already!

Safe Harbor Consulting opened our doors as a new business continuity, disaster recovery, and crisis management consulting firm earlier this year.  Some folks have accused us of causing these disasters as a way of promoting the need for our services.  I assure you, our connections with the man above are not that good.

And I have only talked about incidents impacting the US!  Imagine how long this blog would be if I started listing worldwide events.  I am almost afraid to ask, “What could be next?”  The answer is likely to be in a future blog.

Be safe, folks.

Disasters With Warning and Those Without

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.

Earthquake on the East Coast

Sometimes reality exceeds the imagination.  Here at Safe Harbor Consulting we have the priviledge of creating and facilitating emergency response and business continuity exercises for a number of organizations.  One of the first challenges we tackle in each case is to select a scenario that is feasible, yet not overdone, realistic and believable.  Up to about one hour ago, creating an exercize for an earthquake for companies on the East Coast of the United States, did not fit that criteria.
How many organizations up the eastern seaboard of the United States had practiced earthquake response plans?  Not many – yet there are several, overdue fault lines all along the east coast, including a few that put New York City at risk.
Know your risks and threats.  Safe Harbor Consulting can also conduct a thorough Risk Analysis that helps identify those risks that may threaten your facilities.
I will be closely watching the news reports to see how folks fared this afternoon.
I hope all of you did and are doing well.