Wednesday, October 31, 2012

What would you do?

It's Halloween and time for our unusual disaster issue. Everything here could happen... even if there's only a small chance (we hope). The question is what would you do to prepare for and deal with these disasters – and get your business up and running quickly. Several of these incidents had consequences no one could have imagined; maybe they should have been more imaginative.

London has been beset by Great Plagues and Great Fires, but did you know about the Great Beer Flood that killed eight? (Item #1) How can a sailor in a rough dockside bar tell a story about how his ship was almost destroyed, not by a hurricane or pirates but by an enraged dessert? (Item #2) Fire and an explosion kill more than 500, destroying the business district in Texas City, Texas. (Item #3)

70 city blocks were destroyed by this out-of-control fire and some 2,500 businesses were displaced. (Item #4) Some Minneapolis residents thought the world had ended when an explosion destroyed the Washburn A Mill. (Item #5) A shipment of liquid nitroglycerin led to one of the greatest industrial accidents of early California. (Item #6)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Planning

Developing business continuity and disaster recovery plans require a lot of time and effort to develop and test so they can be implemented immediately when needed. The goal, of course, is to prevent as many disruptions as possible and to be able to get up and running quickly if a disaster does occur. How well can your BC and DR plans meet these goals? Check out this issue for information that can help you improve and update your current plans.

These business issues are likely to have impacted (or will impact) business continuity planning. (Item #1) The legal issues involved in corporate contingency planning are some of the most misunderstood and confusing aspects of the entire process of creating a disaster recovery plan. (Item #2) Your ability to ensure the continuity of your company also depends on your willingness and ability to communicate your continuity wishes to those who will be affected. (Item #3)

Four reasons IT executives charged with business continuity planning, risk management and disaster recovery must consider their employees and operations heavily in their plans. (Item #4) A remote access solution must be intuitive and must take into account the increased need for security under business continuity conditions. (Item #5) Disaster recovery planning is affected by social, mobile, virtualization and cloud services. (Item #6)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Terrorism today takes many forms, but perhaps the most common are bombings, shootings, and kidnappings. You never know what terrorists will do next, so you have to make sure you understand your organization’s specific risks. You also have to know how you might be collateral damage from an attack on another organization. Take a look at this week’s articles and determine if you have to rethink some of your business continuity plans for terrorism.

Diligent companies must take heed of new terrorism realities and prepare accordingly. (Item #1) Two ways corporations are involved in counter-terrorism is in their development of security plans and engineering and retrofitting facility designs so that security is built in rather than bolted on. (Item #2) Business continuity needs to be part of the equation in managing terrorism risk. (Item #3)

Terrorists may be home-grown, but their reach is global. (Item #4) Building evacuation in terrorist times isn't an easy decision. (Item #5) The combination of detection, investigation and intelligence lets the user know exactly how to respond to an attack. (Item #6)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Crisis Communication

Crisis communication, a critical piece of crisis management, is an area often neglected when developing a business continuity plan. When you are writing your plan, make sure you have covered all the possible aspects of this area, everything from how to communicate with your employees to what to say to the media, who's going to do the talking, and getting control of the message. This week's articles can help you fill out the missing parts of the crisis communication plan.

Don't forget the importance of social media in crisis communication. (Item #1) These lessons from a communications specialist shed light on some things to consider. (Item #2) You have to practice your crisis communications plan just as you would a fire drill. (Item #3)

Are you really prepared to communicate in a crisis? (Item #4)  How does risk communication fit into the war on terror? (Item #5) When Kony 2012 burst on the scene, it was quite a crisis communications challenge; the organization behind the video offers lessons in this article. (Item #6)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Fire Prevention Week

October 7-13 is Fire Prevention Week, sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association. According to the NFPA, from 2005-2009 more than half of all non-residential structure fires occurred in workplaces. Almost 20 percent of those workplace fires occurred in office settings. This week's articles provide lots of fire safety tips that you can use in your fire prevention plan.

Check out NFPA's resources for Fire Prevention Week. (Item #1) Workplace fire safety is OSHA's principal focus. (Item #2) In high-occupancy buildings fire safety and effective evacuation strategies are particularly important. (Item #3)

If you don't have a fire safety plan (or have it in your BC plan), you need to start on one. (Item #4) Don't forget that employees need to be trained in fire safety, beyond just knowing where the exits are. (Item #5) Use this fire prevention checklist to see how well you're doing with fire safety. (Item #6)