1948 years ago in AD 63 an earthquake in southern Italy by the gulf of Naples seriously damaged the ancient city of Pompeii causing an undetermined number of deaths and spread out destruction, but the locals went to work rebuilding in the same spot until they were buried by the eruption of the Vesuvius volcano 16 years later in AD 79.
Galveston TX Hurricanes
Average Brushed or hit every 2.94 years Average Direct hit every 8.63 years
The Great Storm of 1900 - Sep 8th 1900 - Pop: 42,000 residents Category 4 @ 135 mph -Great loss of life between 6,000 and 12,000 individuals – officially 8,000
The 1915 Storm, August 17th, Category 4 @ 135 mph 42 people dead in the Galveston area
$60 - 1915 million dollars in damage
Ike Sep 13th 2008 - The third most destructive hurricane to ever make landfall in the United States Final landfall in Galveston Texas as a strong cat 2 with cat 5 equivalent storm surge winds extended 120 miles from the center.
Blamed for at least 195 deaths – 74 in Haiti and 112 in the USA 300 still missing. - Damages estimated at 24 billion (2008) US Dollars
Resulted in the largest evacuation in the state of Texas history and the largest search and rescue operation in US history
Chernobyl, An Experiment Gone Wrong
On Saturday, April 26th, 1986 at 1:23 am, one of the reactors at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded. Ironically, the experiment consisted in testing how the power plant would respond in the event of an accident. The operators at the plant wanted to bring down the power output of the reactor to 25%, but over-confidence, poor training and poor knowledge of how a reactor works caused them to overdo it, and they ended up bringing down the power output to 1%. When they then tried to bring it up to 25%, the reactor overheated and exploded causing the worst nuclear accident in history.
With the recession foremost on everyone’s minds, the alarm set off by the 2005 outbreak of Avian flu or dread of biological warfare set in motion by September 11, 2001, have inevitably subsided into the collective memory of the American psyche. Yet the possibility of a pandemic or biological attack is just as real today.
This month, in our ongoing series of business continuity planning tips, Tom Abruzzo, a BCM practice consulting leader, would like to bring the topic of pandemic planning back to the fore. In his experience, he finds many businesses incorporate their pandemic plan within their traditional BCP without considering the dissimilarities. His message this month is to distinguish those differences.
Don’t Combine a Pandemic Plan with a Traditional BCP
Planners sometimes try to integrate a conventional plan that assumes people ARE available with a health epidemic plan that assumes people are NOT available.
These are incongruent issues: One is a building/technology problem, and the other a people problem. In the case of a physical/technology outage, there's no place to work or no technology to work with. In a pandemic situation, on the other hand, the facility and technology are completely accessible...but there’s a shortage of personnel for operations.
A pandemic plan, then, assumes a high percentage of staff absenteeism. In addition to actually being ill, this depleted workforce can be the result of number of factors affecting the employee—caring for school-age children as a result of schools being closed, caring for someone who is ill, fear of becoming sick, psychological effects of experiencing high numbers of sickness and death (this type of situation amplifies nervous breakdowns, suicides, etc.)—or, not to be macabre, but some personnel and management will die.
Recommendation: Separate and treat these as two different issues and plans.
A pandemic plan might include cross training employees in various disciplines, keeping retired employees up-to-date and in reserve as consultants, work-at-home strategies, etc.
The actuality is that severe absenteeism may be more devastating to your business than a physical/technological outage.
Consulting and Software for Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Planning www.tampsystems.com