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Did You Know That...

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

Nuclear Issues

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.

Five U.S. nuclear reactors in earthquake zones

Status of the Nuclear Reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant

How a Reactor Shuts Down and What Happens in a Meltdown

Hazards of Storing Spent Fuel

Timeline: Nuclear Plant Accidents

Why the Fukushima disaster is worse than Chernobyl

In graphics: Fukushima nuclear alert

Fukushima victims: homeless, desperate & angry

Japan Panel: Fukushima nuclear disaster "man-made"

More, Did You Know That


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Communications: DR Communications for Small Organizations
Posted on Friday, February 02 @ 13:52:07 PST by admin

Communications – Suggestions for the Small Organization
By: Bill Kawka

Communications to stakeholders, partners and vendors before, during and after an impact full disaster (e.g. long term loss of electrical power) event is an important aspect of a resumption and recovery portfolio.

For the small, not-for profit, business or service provider oftentimes communications is a challenge; especially having contact data such as telephone numbers and email addresses readily accessible. Several suggestions to have the numbers within easy reach are offered below.

Information Updates

A tried and true method is to have the data in an electronic format such as a spreadsheet, table or database. The tool exits at the organization level. A regular update schedule is important to maintain whether it be monthly or quarterly. Ok, now the update frequency and accuracy is in place and a process to assure changes are received by the custodian is procedurally accepted in the organization. A verification methodology is introduced to eliminate common errors, for example, transposing of numbers. The storage medium, whether it is an in house server or an external service provider, is in place.

The information is secured per the information protection policies. Only those individuals who have a need to know are able to view and access the data. Steps have been taken to assure the information privacy of the valued employees. Fantastic! All the good things are in place.

The Scenario

A call is received in the morning regarding an event at the business location. You need to contact stakeholders within the next several hours and inform them the contingency plan needs to be invoked. However, you are out of town on business or recreation and not near your home server where all of the contact information is kept. Hmmmm…a dilemma!

Suggestions and an Approach

As soon as the information updates are processed and verified, send an email to yourself from your existing external provider account. Attach the data and/or include in the body of the email as an imbedded document. The advantage of this approach is that you can go to a facility such as a public library, school or perhaps another partner or vendor office, open the email and print the data.

Save the contact information to a compact disk or diskette and keep it with you in the briefcase. If the data is saved generically as a text file or in a standard program the data can be printed at an alternate location. The information is then available. One may also attach the information to an email to be sent to colleagues who may not have immediate access to the numbers. Make use of a flash drive. Save the contact information to the drive in several formats. Print or display as required.


Smaller entities can have a robust communications strategy as part of the resumption, restoration and recovery portfolio utilizing utilities or services that are available in the public and private domain. Saving the data employing a variety of external techniques will insure its availability during the event timeline.

Note: DR Coomunications for the Small Organization By:
Bill Kawka
Bill has more than twenty years experience in the business continuity and resumption profession. He is certified by the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) and the Disaster Recovery International Institute (DRII).

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