Increasing Threats and Few Companies are Prepared

william@biby.com's picture

08.28.2008

"We've never had anything serious happen."  This was the recent response from a high level manager of a large, local business as to why his company did not have any written plans for disaster response and recovery.  Isn't this always the case?  We naturally do not believe that a disastrous event will happen to us until it actually occurs. 911, Katrina, and the great Northeastern Power Blackout of 2003, are just a few examples.  But what about the thousands of local events?

  Okay, so you don’t think much has ever happened at you place of business?  Here’s a test for you and your company: If there are at least 30 employees, go around and ask 10-to-20 co-workers what events or “close-calls” have happened over the years (yes, this assumes longevity of employment for some workers).  Note, examples include everything from tornadoes to robbery, or anything that was considered a potential threat to the company.  Make sure you give each person time to think about it and answer completely.

  What will happen?  In nearly every case of interviewing Client personnel (from 50 employees to 50,000) over the years, the answers at each company differ from “nothing has happened” to a lengthy list of hazards that will most likely surprise you.  Usually the threats include several power problems, lightning strikes (with and without disasters), equipment failures, encounters with strangers, robbery, and nearby auto accidents (that hit power poles, communication’s equipment, or caused other problems).

  So what does this mean?  Obviously, your company survived all these past events.  Did they get lucky?  Did they mitigate the problem?  Lower the risk?  Or was the issue quickly forgotten?  Oh yes, “business as usual”.  Be prepared for the next “Close Call”.  May it only be close.