Don Henley is right: everything can change in a New York Minute, and his lyrics underscore our standard focus on response to an emergency. Even in the best of conditions, post incident recovery is a long- term challenge requiring a leveling between response and recovery planning. The deplorable processing delays in veterans benefits is another example: we ramp up well; we didn’t plan how to re-integrate and support our veterans returning home from defending our freedom. Here’s a few pointers to get you started on what to do after the siren’s wail stops.
Recovery is a process even with resources
I have a client that lost her Long Island home to Sandy: she has good insurance, a great builder, the cooperation of her town building department, and thankfully, a place to stay with good friends. The majority of disaster survivors are not as fortunate, and they are dealing with the additional uncertainty of Federal, State and local flood plain elevation policy changes that delay rebuilding. My client, despite her recovery resources, is still out of her home, and part of my service includes keeping her hopeful throughout.
Leverage the New York minute
Disaster forces change on people globally. The challenge is to leverage what you have to survive and then thrive. If everything did change in a minute, or over hours or days, what would you change in your technology, where you are located, what product lines or services you might change or if you expand or partner with someone? After the clean-up crew leaves and you wrangle with insurance, have you thought about your recovery resources? In addition to finance and insurance, does your business continuity plan have enough resourcing of material, equipment, facilities and services to recover after something happens? Business owners have to put into their recovery calculations the hazards that threaten their workplace: increased competition, location, natural or man-made threats, public tarnishing of your reputation and crime, to name a few. If you had to start all over, what would it look like?
Recovery is longer Than A Minute
We’re approaching the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, and we will soon be flooded with analysis on what’s improved in local and regional economics, and what's left to be done. If you didn't sustain damage, you need to consider if the recovery portion of your business continuity plan includes a realistic timeline. Your timeline must also include the interface with public sector entities that will dictate the pace for your business recovery. There are planning resources to help you balance your business continuity planning from Page Integrity including small business seminars, and other tips and tools for you or your employees to use. Check the “events” page for our upcoming seminars.
Bill DelGrosso, CBCP, CEM has over 20 years experience in public and private sector continuity operations, planning and consulting