A couple of years ago the world watched as New Orleans almost became the ‘Lost City of Atlantis’. Hurricane Katrina almost completely destroyed this historic city on the Mississippi. Homes, lives, and businesses were lost in the matter of just a few days. Many of those businesses had enough warning to enable them to move vital information to secure spots. Unfortunately, many more chose to ‘stick it out’ in hopes that the storm and surge would pass by them.
Most people who live along coastal waterways know there is the possibility that they will be subject to some kind of natural disaster. Businesses put plans in effect that will help them relocate in case of emergencies. But what would you do if your small community seems impervious to natural disasters? We live in a relatively safe place here in Idaho. We do not get hurricanes; we rarely have tornados, and when we do the most damage it usually does is tip over somebody’s tractor or throws their swing set into a tree; we can have some harsh winters but not anything that can’t be dealt with. But, recently an event happened that should make every small town that sits in the mountains take notice.
A fire started in the mountains near Sun Valley, Idaho. It quickly grew to many thousands of acres, threatening the towns of Ketchum, Sun Valley, and Elkhorn. They, or at least parts of them, were evacuated for several days. Did these towns have a week or two notice, like they did with hurricane Katrina? No, they had only a few hours notice for the citizens of those communities to grab whatever belongings they could carry and evacuate. Fortunately the fire was contained and few reports of lost property were reported.
What would you do in your business if this happened? How would you safeguard your property? How would you transfer vital documents and supplies to safe areas? What would happen to your information technology infrastructures? How would you conduct business if you were forced to leave your place of business for an extended time?
These same questions were repeatedly asked on September 11, 2001, the day the World Trade Center towers were attacked and destroyed, by many businesses throughout this land and beyond. These same questions need to be asked today?
Disaster preparedness is not just about stocking food in case you can’t get to the store. For businesses it is about preparing to function in extreme circumstances, preparing to secure key components of their business from possible damage, and preparing to not only survive, but prosper when all around them seems to be in chaos.
How have you prepared your business in the event of an emergency?
Let us know…