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.
According to a recent survey, 95% of the 400 companies surveyed indicate a critical need for telecommunications business continuity. Yet only 2% actually have a plan in place.
In another study of companies that have business continuity plans, only 40% reported any testing of the plan in the last 12 months. One could then ask how many of those plans actually work. Have they been, and are they being, tested for continuity of critical voice and fax continuity? Are they viable in any potential disaster scenarios?
Unlikely! When it comes to critical telephony systems, too many organizations are mistakenly turning to the perceived reliability of a VoIP solution or planning to use mobile phones, despite clear evidence
that such solutions are far from robust. Furthermore, organizations that have opted for expensive and inflexible business continuity plans offered by the major carriers more often than not cannot afford the cost of testing.
The only way to prove whether or not a business continuity plan will work is to test it. So how many businesses are prepared to pull the plug on their own telephone network (e.g., by disabling their PBX) to discover just how robust their business continuity plan would be in the event of a real emergency?
Today, businesses need a far more flexible, responsive solution to cope with the many situations that can arise. Is it really realistic to evacuate every employee from the affected building to another site when the problem is limited to one floor of the office building simply because the telephone business continuity solution is all or nothing?
An inability to support partial business interruptions is a major problem – not to mention the cost issues. This would be very apparent if organizations were adequately testing to determine whether the
plan works – in addition to its overall business viability.
Rather than relying on hard-coded, finite rerouting of a select few DID (direct inward dial) circuits, organizations actually need a range of flexible plans that offer unlimited individual DID rerouting in response to specific disasters. This can range from a partial invocation to complete rerouting of every number in the company to any number of alternative locations.
Businesses need the ability to reroute their DID numbers in their own hands rather than their primary local service carrier or another third party. They need the ability to react to any situation on the fly and have the flexibility of changing the plan as circumstances dictate.
It is only by regular testing that an organization can discover the constraints imposed by business continuity plans and determine whether or not the constraint is acceptable. This is especially important
for telephony systems, which are at the core of most business operations.
So, if your telecommunications or network manager insists that the company’s voice communications system is completely reliable in the event of any disaster, suggest unplugging it – in an organized
fashion – and then judge just how confidence inspiring is the response.
Feeling Confident That Your Business Continuity Plan Covers Everything?
Then pull the plug on your telephone system and see what happens!