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.
It has been highly publicized in the media this past week that human cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection have been identified in the United States and internationally. So far, 20 cases of this flu have been established in the U.S. (in California, Kansas, New York, Texas and Ohio), and 20 suspected deaths have occurred in Mexico.
The CDC reports that it is working very closely with officials in states where human cases have been identified, as well as with health officials in Mexico, Canada and the World Health Organization. The CDC has also activated its Emergency Operations Center and deployed its staff to provide guidance to help contain the potentially deadly virus and contain a possible pandemic. And, the WHO Director-General has today raised the level of influenza pandemic alert from the current phase 3 to phase 4.
Has your pandemic plan been updated recently? It has been our experience that planners sometimes inadvertently integrate their pandemic plan with their BCP. As we know, most BCPs assume people “are” available; but a pandemic or health crisis plan needs to assume they are “not.”
Though the outbreak has not reached pandemic proportions, we recommend that every company update their “Pandemic BCP” to consider the possibility of a high degree of staff absenteeism. In addition to educating employees on proper hygiene practices in an attempt to decrease the spread of this virus, below are some of the salient topics to identify in your pandemic plans:
Ø Employees who are cross-trained in various disciplines
Ø Alternative workforce options, e.g., retired employees, etc.
Ø Succession plans for key-employees
Ø Workers who have the ability to work-at-home
Ø Supply chain interruption strategies
Ø HR policies and procedures that would be used during a pandemic
We do not want to be alarmists. However, the reality is that the crux the U.S. government’s plan in the event of a declared pandemic is to mandate that all meeting places, including schools, libraries and day care centers be closed. During such an incident, there will be a high percentage of absenteeism due to a number of factors, including:
Ø Caring for small or school-age children (most parents would not risk leaving their children home alone for fear that they may go out and contract the virus – and, most parents would not want to risk bringing home the virus)
Ø Psychosomatic illnesses
Ø Caring for someone who is ill
Ø Fear of becoming sick
Ø Actually being sick
Ø Psychological effects of the pandemic or health crisis
Ø Death of personnel or loved ones
Consulting and Software for Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Planning www.tampsystems.com