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Are we prepared?

By Alan Berman | CBCP (NY-USA) | 09/05/2011

It seems that you cannot turn on the television, listen to the radio, read a newspaper, listen to a podcast or go to an internet home page without being made aware of some disaster. Whether it is the political turmoil in the Mideast, natural disasters in Asia and South America or man made threats of terrorism; the news brings in to question our general state of preparedness.

It falls to the people responsible for emergency/disaster and business continuity management to prepare for and to work to reduce the impacts of incidents that have a negative effect on their organizations ability to protect the workplace and its employees, as well as deliver its goods and services. This is the formidable task that we are faced with in our attempts to manage for the unexpected.

The consequences of disease, terrorism, natural disasters and collateral damage have required that Business Continuity Professionals engage in broader and deeper analyses and create more robust plans to deal with these problems. In the global society of today an incident half way around the world may create a chain reaction that disrupts companies wherever they are. We only have to look at the latest disaster in Japan or the turmoil in Libya to understand how localized incidents influence us all. Whereas emergency response tends to be incident specific and site specific, business continuity issues are broader and farther reaching, the result of which may last for years.

In meeting this test, Business Continuity Professionals are finding that they must be more precise, more inclusive and create strategies that will mitigate against unacceptable losses. They must be better informed so they can learn the lessons of their peers who have faced similar hardships. They must be able to articulate exactly what the objectives of their programs are and ensure that they align with those of the rest of the organization. They must balance the company’s tolerance for risk with risk transfer mechanisms at their disposal. They must look deeper into their business processes and further into the supply chain components that are so vital to our maintaining our production levels.
That is the challenge we face and our ability to address the issues may mean the difference between survival and demise. That is the very issue that DRI International is chartered to address. Founded in 1988 as a non-profit organization DRI International’s mission is to increase global preparedness.
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