The Changing Face of Disaster Planning

In the past, companies that dealt with a disaster would call in the reinforcements using a phone tree and use a recovery checklist to make sure that all was in order. In the wake of recent natural disasters, including Superstorm Sandy and other events, the landscape of disaster preparedness has changed. Below are some areas that businesses might need to reassess in order to accommodate the changing face and severity of future disasters, according to


Gone are the days when communication in the wake of a disaster were all but assured. Companies need to design robust response plans that take into account that communication methods such as cells or wireless could be wiped out or severely hampered. As was shown in the recent Boston bombings, calling on a cell phone was all but impossible, with texting becoming the preferred method of communication due to its lessened demand on bandwidth. Companies also need to consider an offsite location where employees can meet and have a Wi-Fi connection. This allows work to continue even with the main office out of the loop.

Employees Are People

Company leaders need to keep in mind that their employees are people too. With most having families to care of, nothing is worse than having to report for work while their family might still be in danger. Some leeway and time should be given to allow workers to take care of and make sure their families are OK first. This allows them to focus on the job better and gives them peace of mind. And once employees do make it back, companies should provide counseling to help those who might have been mentally and emotionally impacted by a loss.

Impact on the Business

The business impact of future disasters is also set to increase. By anticipating which areas need improvement, from a business standpoint, companies can better protect their assets. One example would be to store all important documents onsite within airtight and watertight containers in a safe room. This keeps confidential and all important work documents safe from harm. Storing them this way overnight can likewise keep them safe, even if a disaster strikes while the office is closed.


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